ORIGINAL REPORTING: A Moment Of Truth Coming For Secretary Of Energy Perry
How will Rick Perry run the Department of Energy? Some Texas energy veterans remember an engaged, pro-business governor, while others worry of a 'pay-to-play' DOE
Herman K. Trabish, Jan. 3, 2017 (Utility Dive)
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), now head of the Department of Energy, once proposed shuttering the entire agency. Many say he has demonstrated he is not as qualified as the scientists who led the DOE under President Obama. Even those in the Texas energy sector worry his approach will favor a pay-to-play DOE, though others say his strategy of putting business ahead of policy could work at the department. Texas Oil & Gas Association President Todd Staples emailed Utility Dive that Perry policies in Texas had combined industry innovation and science-based policies and made Texas the number one oil and natural gas producer in the nation. Virtus Energy President Mike Sloan told Utility Dive Perry was key to building Texas’s 18,000 MW Competitive Renewable Energy Zone transmission system that is supporting its nation-leading wind growth.
But Karl Rabago, now director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center, was a commissioner with the Public Utilities Commission of Texas (PUCT) and an Austin Energy executive during Perry’s Gubernatorial tenure. Perry does not have a reputation as a strong leader in the DOE agenda that includes basic science, nuclear management, international relations, lab management, and many complex interactions with states, universities, and industry on R&D, deployment, and market development, according to Rabago, who was also a former DOE Deputy Assistant Secretary. Sloan said Perry was an “all-of-the-above kind of guy.” Tom Smith, executive director of the Texas Office of Public Citizen, a consumer watchdog group, worked parallel to Perry “since the first day he walked into the legislature” and said Perry often didn't fully understand the implications of what he did. Both Smith and Rabago said they saw a worrying pattern of Perry rewarding political allies in his energy policies… click here for more