Senate confirms Perry to head Energy Department

Ben Carson Credit CNN

The U.S. Senate voted to end debate Thursday on the confirmation of Rick Perry as the new U.S. secretary of energy, effectively putting the former Texas governor on a smooth path to confirmation.

Sonny Perdue, the former Republican governor of Georgia, is Trump's pick to oversee the Agriculture Department.

But Perry's foes criticized his tepid acknowledgment of climate change, his strong ties to his state's oil and gas industry, and his lack of experience with the department's main budgetary area: the maintenance of the nation's nuclear stockpile.

Perry will oversee the security of the United States nuclear weapons, the nuclear deal with Iran, as well as climate change policies among other issues as energy secretary.

He also expressed regret for a statement he made during his 2012 bid for president calling for the elimination of the Energy Department.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, replied that as governor Perry "created an environment where all energy producers could not just succeed but really prosper".

White House aides told to preserve materials in Russian Federation probe
The Trump team's public accounting of Flynn's conversations with the ambassador have changed multiple times . The Senate Intelligence Committee also made a similar request to the White House and agencies.

Perry was quick to respond - "country", he said. Udall is a senior member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee and a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water, which writes the budget for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Testifying before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Perry said he planned to support all forms of energy, including renewables.

Hoeven said he looks forward to working with Perry to provide a true path forward for clean coal technology.

The Senate voted 62 to 37 to confirm Perry, including 10 Democrats and one Independent voting for him. During the hearing, he said his course of thinking had changed about the Energy Department, which he had once proposed eliminating.

However, the large donations Perry has received from the industry could add to concerns many environmental advocates have expressed over his selection.

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