Beyond “Oops”: Se­lec­tion of Perry de­rided by crit­ics

The Denver Post - - NATION & WORLD - By Matthew Daly and Will Weis­sert

wash­ing­ton» He ran for pres­i­dent twice, but Rick Perry may be best known for two made-for-TV mo­ments: ut­ter­ing “Oops” when he for­got the En­ergy Depart­ment was one of the agen­cies he pledged to elim­i­nate and be­ing a con­tes­tant on “Danc­ing with the Stars.”

The for­mer Texas gover­nor is Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump’s choice to be­come en­ergy sec­re­tary, two peo­ple with knowl­edge of the de­ci­sion say.

If con­firmed by the Se­nate, Perry is likely to shift the depart­ment away from re­new­able en­ergy and to­ward oil and other fos­sil fu­els that he cham­pi­oned dur­ing a record 14 years as gover­nor.

Perry, 66, left of­fice in Jan­uary 2015 and launched his sec­ond ill-fated bid for the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion.

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

Perry later en­dorsed the Repub­li­can nom­i­nee and said he’d be willing to work in a Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion. He re-emerged in the pub­lic spot­light in a brief ap­pear­ance on this sea­son’s “Danc­ing with the Stars.”

Democrats and en­vi­ron­men­tal groups de­rided Perry’s ex­pected nom­i­na­tion, not­ing that he is on the record both for­get­ting about the En­ergy Depart­ment and then re­mem­ber­ing he wanted to elim­i­nate it.

Michael Brune, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Sierra Club, called it “an in­sult to our func­tion­ing democ­racy. Putting Perry in charge of the Depart­ment of En­ergy is the per­fect way to en­sure the agency fails at ev­ery­thing it is charged to do.”

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