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04 March 2017, 12:55 | Ignacio Smith
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The U.S. Senate voted 62-37 Thursday to confirm Rick Perry, the longest-serving governor in Texas history, as secretary of energy in President Donald Trump's Cabinet.
But the state also emerged as a leading producer of wind power and a top 10 provider of solar power.
The genial Republican drew less fire from Democrats during his confirmation process than other Trump nominees, but Perry faces numerous same tough issues over regulations, the department's activities to slow climate change, and potentially deep cuts in manpower and spending.
While his nomination was never seriously in jeopardy, Trump's choice of the former Texas governor to head DOE raised some eyebrows in the energy sector, as he once famously forgot a pledge to eliminate the department during a presidential debate, sinking his 2012 campaign.
"Perry would join the ranks of other unqualified candidates chosen by this president to lead critically important agencies with very specific and complex functions", Sen.
Perry, the governor of Texas from 2000 to 2015, had the strong support of both of his home state us senators - John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, both Republicans.
Perry was quick to respond - "country", he said. "[Research and development] funding decisions should be made by knowledgeable professionals in the energy department, not Congress". She cited his failure to oppose Trump administration moves away from the commitments by both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations to renewable energy and energy efficiency.
"Perry lacks the knowledge and experience to run the DOE", Damon Moglen, a spokesperson at the green group Friends of the Earth, said in a press statement.
In his confirmation hearing, however, Perry promised to champion the department charged with protecting the nation's nuclear weapons.
The Sierra Club is America's largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.7 million members and supporters.
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