Rick Perry’s Coming Around on Climate Change?
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.
Before Trump, I loathed Perry as an avatar of all the GOP had embraced. How the Republicans had degenerated from Eisenhower to Nixon to Reagan to below. He was dense, he was mean, he had never worked a day in his life. He was unfit for school janitor.
It’s nowhere near strong enough, but Perry is acknowledging that climate change is real, even if he won’t say that it’s mankind doing it. He’s saying that it’s worth investing in green technology. He acknowledged he was wrong on the Department of Energy. And that’s what grabbed me: Perry admitted he was wrong. He’s still massively unfit for the job, but still, Perry’s one of Trump’s least-offensive picks.
I don’t know how to feel about this. Is this Perry blowing smoke up our asses, so he has a better shot at dismantling our government? Is this Perry having an attack of intelligence and decency, and maybe the more intelligent(?) Republicans will follow? Or has Perry only grasped the full horror of the situation, right before we plunge into the abyss?