WASHINGTON, D.C. — Citing Rick Perry’s past calls to eliminate the Energy Department, and “an unwillingness to commit to the applied energy research and climate science done at our national labs and universities, and the transition team questionnaire that attacked the integrity of climate scientists,” US Senator Martin Heinrich voted NO today on the confirmation of former Texas Governor Rick Perry to lead Donald Trump’s Energy Department.
The New York Times recently reported that Perry accepted Trump’s offer to be Energy Secretary believing it was a post to serve as a “global ambassador for America’s oil and gas companies.” Only after accepting did he learn that it was not that job at all.
The Energy Department enjoys a special relationship with New Mexico. National labs, including Sandia and Los Alamos, as well as our country’s nuclear stockpile housed, in part, at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque are all under the purview of the Energy Secretary.
From a press release issued by Heinrich’s office:
“Since the Trump Administration took office, we have seen executive order after executive order that ignores the will of the American people. While Governor Perry walked back his intent to eliminate the Department of Energy, the Trump Administration almost simultaneously floated plans for deep budget cuts that threaten critical missions there. And after having Secretary Mattis tell us he opposed the Muslim ban and Director Pompeo state his opposition to torture – we saw this administration move forward with both.
“I appreciate Governor Perry’s responsiveness and acknowledge that this nominee will move forward and that I want – and we all need – him to be successful. But his past statements on eliminating the Department, an unwillingness to commit to the applied energy research and climate science done at our national labs and universities, and the transition team questionnaire that attacked the integrity of climate scientists all signal where the Trump Administration is headed.
“Given these troubling signs, paired with Trump nominees thus far having said one thing and the Administration doing another, I cannot give Governor Perry the benefit of the doubt. With 25,000 New Mexicans contributing to these important Department of Energy missions, we cannot have any doubts about a nominee’s willingness or ability to defend the agency and its work.”