No so long ago, Rick Perry described the science behind human-caused climate change as a “contrived phony mess.” On Thursday, during his confirmation hearing to become the next head of the Energy Department, the former Texas governor expressed a markedly different view — one that has begun to sound very familiar in recent days. “I believe the climate is changing,” he told lawmakers. “I believe some of it is naturally occurring, but some of it is caused by man-made activity. The question is how we address it in a thoughtful way that doesn’t compromise economic growth.
Rick Perry, Trump’s choice to lead the Energy Department, said he supported the department’s broad research programs and its controversial loan guarantees for innovative technologies. He also disavowed a questionnaire sent by Trump’s team demanding a list of staff members working on climate change programs. “I’m a big believer that we have a role to play, both in basic research, obviously, but also in that applied research — to bring new technologies, new commercialization, new economic development opportunities to this country,” Perry told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “I will be an advocate,” he said, noting he has a background of “defending budgets.”
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, tapped by President-elect Donald Trump to head the Energy Department, vowed to be an advocate for an agency he once pledged to eliminate and promised to rely on federal scientists, including those who work on climate change. Perry told a Senate committee on Thursday that he regrets his infamous statement about abolishing the department and insisted it performs critical functions, particularly in protecting and modernizing the nation’s nuclear stockpile.
At the Department of Energy, it would roll back funding for nuclear physics and advanced scientific computing research to 2008 levels, eliminate the Office of Electricity, eliminate the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and scrap the Office of Fossil Energy, which focuses on technologies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Overall, the blueprint being used by Trump’s team would reduce federal spending by $10.5 trillion over 10 years.
Royal Dutch Shell has been shortlisted by the U.S. government to make a bid for an offshore wind project license in the waters off North Carolina, as it comes under pressure from shareholders to diversify into green energy. Shell, as well as Norway’s Statoil, qualified to participate in the upcoming leasing round offshore Kitty Hawk, the U.S. interior ministry said on Tuesday. The lease award is set for March 16.
Wyoming’s legislature is considering a bill that would effectively outlaw renewable energy in the state. The so-called “Electricity Production Standard” proposes to penalize utilities in Wyoming for generating electricity from solar and wind energy. The bill would allow electric power to be generated using one of six pre-approved sources, including oil, natural gas, nuclear, hydropower and coal, to be used by Wyoming utility companies for electricity generation. Neither solar nor wind energy are included on the list of allowed fuel sources.
Publicly, China’s Ministry of Commerce has responded calmly to Trump’s repeated criticism of the two countries’ relationship, with its spokesman Shen Danyang insisting last month that the transfer of power in Washington won’t change ties, which he described as “interwoven,” “interdependent” and “mutually beneficial.” But behind the scenes, the ministry is not standing still.
Mr. Pruitt said that he would not revisit a landmark 2009 E.P.A. finding that carbon dioxide emissions endanger human life by warming the planet. That finding created the legal requirement that the E.P.A. regulate those climate-warming emissions. “It is there, and it needs to be enforced and respected,” Mr. Pruitt said. “There is nothing that I know that would cause it to be reviewed.”
President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency expressed doubt about the science behind global climate change during a contentious Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday, but added he would be obliged for now to uphold the EPA’s finding carbon dioxide poses a public danger. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, 48, sued the agency he intends to run more than a dozen times on behalf of his state. This earned him strong support from petroleum companies and convinced both his opponents and supporters that he would aggressively carry out Trump’s campaign vows to slash EPA regulation to boost drilling and mining.
In response to questions from Democrats during his Senate confirmation hearing, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt said he disagreed with Trump’s earlier claims that global warming is a hoax created by the Chinese to harm the economic competitiveness of the United States. “I do not believe climate change is a hoax,” Pruitt said.