One cannot but be impressed with the level of regret a Texas energy abolitionist has expressed over his prior public statements that the government of these United States of America was no longer in need of a Department of Energy (DOE).
Rick Perry, a former Republican governor of Texas, currently has his backside affixed to a chair in Senate chamber, answering questions posed by Senators in a confirmation hearing concerning Mr. Perry being chosen as President-elect Donald J. Trump’s nominee to lead the DOE.
Mr. Trump’s opinion of Mr. Perry’s aptitude has evolved since July 16, 2015, when Mr. Trump tweeted”, @GovernorPerry failed on the border. He should be forced to take an IQ test before being allowed to enter the GOP debate.”
Mr. Perry is seemingly participating in the hearings because he has decided himself well-suited to the department, whether he has a clue of the function or purpose of said department, or not.
The Senators, a group of one-hundred elected representatives of this great country, are asking questions of Mr. Perry because it is their duty to determine whether Mr. Perry is qualified to oversee a department whose mission is to “ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.”
One might agree Mr. Perry has at least a concept of ‘transformative’: it was Mr. Perry’s wife who chose Mr. Perry’s favored Jean Lafont lenses (which the Christian Monitor later described as “centerpiece of his rehabilitation effort nationally.“)
Granted, the DOE’s mission statement is a wallop of a mouthful of three-syllable words, but surely the state of Texas’s academic textbooks have not deteriorated to such an extent that Mr. Perry could not have at least borrowed a book from the local library to sneak peak of a synopsis of the department’s purpose, as it relates to the security and welfare of the every day American.
Perhaps, Mr. Perry was so enthused at jumping upon the Goldman-Sachs-Southern-Governor-Trump-Tour that he hadn’t bothered to consider whether he might possess an iota of knowledge of the department which he is being asked to lead.
It could be that Mr. Perry believed himself living in the land of high cotton, viewing oil as an easier pick with higher yields, than projections, energy futures, alternative forms of energy, or a competitive analysis of the energy industry, as a whole.
However, it seems completely catawampus for a governor of a state which houses two nuclear power facilities and two generating stations, to not have developed a more complex understanding of nuclear energy, and the U.S. department which was tasked with working with Texas officials to ensure we weren’t one day referring to Texas as the back 40 of Fukushima Daiichi.
Most Americans can recall the embarrassment which occurred during Mr. Perry’s nationally televised brain-freeze on November 9, 2011 at a GOP debate. Mr. Perry attempted to clearly outline for the public three departments he believed no longer of importance to a functioning U.S. government:
“I will tell you: It’s three agencies of government, when I get there, that are gone: Commerce, Education and the — what’s the third one there? Let’s see. … OK. So Commerce, Education and the — … The third agency of government I would — I would do away with the Education, the … Commerce and — let’s see — I can’t. The third one, I can’t. Sorry. Oops.”
The third agency to which Mr. Perry referred was the Department of Energy, a department which manages matters of science, energy efficiency, renewable energy, fossil energy R&D, fossil energy petroleum accounts, technology transitions, electricity delivery, energy reliability, Indian energy, and nuclear energy (emphasis ours.) The DOE also handles matters associated with homeland security, has requested a budget of $32.5 billion for FY 2017, and is a bit more complicated than the oil fields of Texas, or the fields off-shore the Gulf of Mexico.
As of this week, Mr. Perry had regretfully recognized the error of his 2011 transgression, and was demonstrating improved enthusiasm for both the department, and his nomination as its head.
There is no word yet whether Mr. Perry still maintains mordant opinion of the Departments of Commerce and Education, and still no word from the 100 Senators whether they have faith in the designated nominee.
For Further Reading
“The Fiscal Year 2016 Department of Energy Budget.” Energy and Commerce Committee. N.p., 19 Jan. 2016. https://energycommerce.house.gov/hearings-and-votes/hearings/fiscal-year-2016-department-energy-budget
U.S. Department of Energy. Office of Chief Financial Officer. FY 2017 Congressional Budget Request: Budget in Brief . DOE/CF-0125. 2016. https://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2016/02/f29/FY2017BudgetinBrief_0.pdf
Burke, Cathy . “Trump: Give Rick Perry an IQ Test.” Newsmax. July 17, 2015. Accessed January 19, 2017. http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/donald-trump-rick-perry-iq-test/2015/07/17/id/657762/.
“Dumbest Rick Perry Quotes.” About.com Entertainment. December 31, 2016. Accessed January 19, 2017. http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/Rick-Perry/a/Rick-Perry-Quotes.htm.