Former Texas governor Rick Perry. Image courtesy of Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons.

President-elect Donald Trump has tapped former Texas governor Rick Perry to lead the U.S. Department of Energy.

Perry stepped into the Texas governor’s mansion in 2000 following the election of George W. Bush to the presidency and led the state for 14 years.

Perry, 66, served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force and graduated from Texas A & M University.

Perry also ran two unsuccessful presidential bids, including a run this past year where he clashed with Trump before ultimately supporting his candidacy.

The Department of Energy is responsible for research and policy work tied to energy production and nuclear materials.

The department is also responsible for designing, testing and producing nuclear weapons.

Trump cited Perry’s leadership of oil-rich Texas as a key factor in his choice.

“Rick Perry created … a business climate that produced millions of new jobs and lower energy prices in his state, and he will bring that same approach to our entire country as secretary of energy,” Trump said in a statement seen by CNBC.

Perry told NBC News that the nomination is a “tremendous honor.”

Prior to his nomination, Perry said he would like to abolish the department he has now been picked to lead.

During his 2011 campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, Perry proposed shutting down the Department of Energy along with the Department of Commerce and the Department of Education.

Perry currently sits on the board of Energy Transfer Partners, the operator of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of the Army declined to approve an easement that would allow the Dakota Access line to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota.

The decision came after Native American and environmental groups staged protests against the project and voiced concerns about the pipeline’s potential impact on water supplies.

Army Assistant Secretary for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy said at alternative routes will likely be explored through an Environmental Impact Statement with full public input and analysis.

Energy Transfer Partners called the decision the latest in a “series of overt and transparent political actions” undertaken by the Obama administration.

The company added that it’s committed to completing the 470,000 barrel per day pipeline and expects to “complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around Lake Oahe.”

Perry has questioned the science on global warming and the role of human activity in driving temperature changes.

According to a transcript seen by the Washington Post, Perry said during a 2011 Republican primary debate that the science on global warming is “not settled.”

“The idea that we would put Americans’ economy at jeopardy based on scientific theory that’s not settled yet to me is just nonsense,” Perry added during the debate.

Earlier this month, Trump tapped Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

A biography on the attorney general’s website describes Pruitt as a” leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda.”

 In an editorial published in the National Review earlier this year, Pruitt said that the “debate” about climate change is “far from settled.”

Perry’s nomination was made official about one day after Trump nominated ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to lead the U.S. State Department.

Tillerson was already slated to retire from Exxon next year after turning 65,the company’s mandatory retirement age.


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