Senate panel approves ex Texas Gov. Rick Perry for DOE

Senate panel approves former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to serve as Energy secretary in Trump administration

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate panel approves former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to serve as Energy secretary in Trump administration.

Perry told a Senate committee that if confirmed, he will be a passionate advocate for the department's core missions and will seek to draw "greater attention to the vital role played by the agency," especially in protecting and modernizing the nation's nuclear stockpile.

Perry, who served 14 years at Texas governor, said he was for "all of the above" on energy production before President Barack Obama embraced the strategy. Years before the Democratic president endorsed all types of energy production — from oil and gas to renewable sources like wind and solar power — Perry was putting the policy into practice in Texas.

He was a harsh critic of Trump, even calling the businessman a "cancer to conservatism," but Perry lasted only three months in the race for the 2016 nomination before dropping out.

Perry has drawn criticism from some environmental activists because he is on the board of Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, the company trying to build a 1,200-mile Dakota Access pipeline that would carry crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois. The pipeline has sparked protests that have made national headlines.

Perry also serves on the board of another energy firm, Sunoco Logistics Partners.

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