Thursday, January 19, 2017

That's Politics

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry met with the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources today in order to determine if he's the man to lead the Department of Energy.  The hearing didn't take on a contentious tone.  I was surprised, however, by the focus staying largely on fossil fuels and renewable energy.

Coal is a source of energy, so you would think the subject is apropos to this sort of committee hearing, but the Energy Department's biggest concern is something else.  The New York Times clarified that the Energy Secretary is not a spokesperson for oil and gas (or coal):
In the days after, Mr. Perry, the former Texas governor, discovered that he would be no such thing — that in fact, if confirmed by the Senate, he would become the steward of a vast national security complex he knew almost nothing about, caring for the most fearsome weapons on the planet, the United States’ nuclear arsenal.
Two-thirds of the agency’s annual $30 billion budget is devoted to maintaining, refurbishing and keeping safe the nation’s nuclear stockpile; thwarting nuclear proliferation; cleaning up and rebuilding an aging constellation of nuclear production facilities; and overseeing national laboratories that are considered the crown jewels of government science.
Government science?  Ya chingo!  Perry is way out of his league on this one.

Henry Cuellar threw his support for Rick Perry yesterday.  Valley media site TheMonitor.com posted Cuellar's comments:
My district is rich with natural resources and with Governor Perry directing state energy policy we set records for job growth and increased revenue to our schools and small businesses," Cuellar stated.
Cuellar referenced the increase in the state’s energy production during Perry’s time as governor between December 2000 and January 2015.
"Under Governor Perry's leadership, Texas successfully increased oil production by more than 150% while simultaneously becoming the nation's leading wind energy producer, developed one of the largest natural gas basins in the entire country, and saw a massive expansion of solar energy,” stated Cuellar.
“Energy security contributes to our national security and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to vote yes on Governor Perry's nomination as Secretary of Energy."
It seems that Cuellar also doesn't know what the Department of Energy does.

It's important to mention Perry's role when he was governor of TX, but it's curious, to say the least, that Cuellar would not mention anything about our responsibility with nuclear weapons and nuclear waste.  Maybe he's not as smart as we think he is.  Cuellar is predictable in championing anybody from Texas, but his support is somewhat obscene when you think about Perry's regard for federal agencies in 2011.

In his famous "oops" debate moment of 2011, Rick Perry couldn't recall the (third) agency he would get rid of if elected president.  Apparently, the agency he would scrub from existence is the one he's now nominated for, Energy.  The laughable, and embarrassing blunder Perry made six years ago would disqualify anyone from consideration, I would think.  But this is Trump's world now, and it's going to be full of nonsensical shit piles for the foreseeable future.

Trump is fine with Perry.  And Perry is not ashamed of his huge mistake or his lack of understanding about government beyond our limits.  Y Cuellar?  Well, Cuellar proves that when life gives you lemons, you turn those lemons into political chips to cash in later, no matter how undignified or soulless it may be.  He too shows no shame in thinking Perry is qualified for this new task.

Perry has evolved in his thinking about government agencies; But that's mostly due to him not having anything of relevance to cling on to for the last several years.  If I had to speak well of him, I would only say that he's the right man for our time.  If confirmed as Energy Secretary, he'll fit right in with the Trump administration.    


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