Former Texas Governor Rick Perry was confirmed and sworn in as the 14th Secretary of Energy on Thursday, March 2, 2017. Secretary Perry’s first day in office started with a welcome speech to a packed house of Department of Energy employees.
During his remarks, Secretary Perry stressed the importance of the Department’s mission and discussed how employees can make a difference. “Think about the ability that you have, and that we collectively have in front of us, with the proper management and authority and direction, to literally go change the world,” he said, adding, “what a cool place to get up every day and go work at - that has the potential to do that. You realize how fortunate you are to be a part of that.”
Perry relayed a conversation he had with then President-elect Trump before his nomination to lead the Energy Department. He said Trump asked him to “do with American energy what you did for Texas.” During his 14 years as Governor, Texas created 2.2 million jobs and led the nation in energy production -- not just in oil and gas, but also in wind power. Texas now generates more wind energy than all but six countries in the world.
Perry also addressed the agency’s “powerful responsibility” for securing and modernizing the Nation’s nuclear arsenal and cleaning up the legacy of the Cold War. And he praised the scientific “jewels” of America’s system of 17 National Laboratories. “I’m so looking forward to visiting with the National Labs,” he said. “I’m going to visit as many of them as I can, as soon as I can.”
“I’m proud to be an American every day,” Perry closed by saying. “But today, I’m truly blessed and as proud as I’ve ever been to say that I am on a team of men and women who have the potential to change the world.”