By Devin Henry, The Hill.
A Senate panel on Tuesday signed off on former Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s nomination to lead the Department of Energy.
The Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 17-6 to approve Perry’s nomination, sending it to the full Senate.
During his confirmation hearing earlier this month, Perry was forced to walk back his famous pledge, from his 2011 presidential run, to abolish the Energy Department if he had been elected.
Instead, he said, he understands and respects the agency’s mission, which focuses on the country’s nuclear arsenal and research activities that span across industries.
“I am committed to modernizing our nuclear stockpile, promoting and developing American energy in all forms, advancing the department’s critical science and technology mission, and carefully disposing of nuclear waste,” he said during his hearing.
During his confirmation hearing, Democrats on the panel expressed concerns about Perry’s position on climate change — he believes in it, but doesn’t know how much influence human activities have on it.
They also pressed Perry on proposed Trump administration cuts to the Department of Energy, and begging him to convince the president and others to preserve the agency’s research capacity.