Former Governor of Texas Rick Perry, a man who became 12 percent smarter when he started wearing glasses, is testifying on Capitol Hill today. He’s been nominated by president-elect Trump to be the secretary of energy, and Perry is currently sailing through the confirmation process while cracking jokes.
Perry was nominated for the position despite the fact that he once proposed completely eliminating the agency. The New York Times also noted yesterday that he had no idea what the Department of Energy actually does until very recently. Perry has since said he regrets stating that the department should be eliminated now that he knows what it does.
Many senators have asked Perry about the enormous cuts that have been announced for the Department of Energy. Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Senator King of Hawaii asked about the massive cuts and the plans for eliminating the Office of Electricity, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and the Office of Fossil Energy—offices which play a role in fighting climate change.
Perry has said that his opinion on climate change has evolved, and he believes in an “all of the above” strategy, which includes plenty of money for renewables. Noting that, Senator King asked Perry directly about whether he supported the elimination of these offices. But he had little more than a joke.
“Well, senator, maybe they’ll have the same experience I did and forget that they said that,” Perry said to laughter in the committee room.
“We’re counting on you,” Senator King said back, laughing.
Contradictions between the stated goals of the Trump administration and the testimony of the president-elect’s cabinet appointees is nothing new. In fact, no one can quite figure out how sincere some of the testimony currently going on is, given how often it seems to be at odds with Trump’s positions.
When following up later Al Franken said sarcastically, “Things in the new administration seem fluid.”
That seems like an understatement.