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Rick Perry Had No Idea What the Secretary of Energy Actually Did When He Accepted the Job

Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty

Former Dancing With the Stars contestant and current Trump pick for Secretary of Energy Rick Perry reportedly had no idea what the job he accepted entailed, according to a report from the New York Times.


As everything in the news these days is horrifying, we become increasingly numb to new revelations, no matter how startling they are. This, however, feels pretty fucking bad: Rick Perry, former Texas governor, had what sounds like a child’s understanding of the role of secretary of energy, believing that “he was taking on a role as a global ambassador for the American oil and gas industry that he had long championed in his home state.”

Please keep in mind that in recent memory, Perry has forgotten that the Department of Energy exists and has also called for the elimination of the very department that he will now ostensibly run. If all goes well at his confirmation hearing Thursday, Perry will soon be in charge of “caring for the most fearsome weapons on the planet, the United States’ nuclear arsenal.” Quite a different task than serving as a “global ambassador” for the oil industry and one that Perry is vastly unqualified to handle.


From the Times:

“If you asked him on that first day he said yes, he would have said, ‘I want to be an advocate for energy,’” said Michael McKenna, a Republican energy lobbyist who advised Mr. Perry’s 2016 presidential campaign and worked on the Trump transition’s Energy Department team in its early days. “If you asked him now, he’d say, ‘I’m serious about the challenges facing the nuclear complex.’ It’s been a learning curve.”

A “learning curve” is not what you want to hear from the man who will soon be in charge of America’s nuclear weapons. The Times reports that while Perry has zero experience with anything substantial that the department he will soon lead faces, he does have experience in dealing with nuclear waste. Okay, sure bud, yep, that seems fine, glad you definitely know what you’re doing.

The current secretary of energy, Ernest J. Moniz, chaired M.I.T’s physics department and the guy before him, Steven Chu, is a Nobel Prize-winning physicist. In what qualifies as a sick burn from the Times, they note that “Mr. Perry studied animal husbandry and led cheers at Texas A&M University.”


Perry’s confirmation hearing begins Thursday at 9:30 A.M., if you can stomach that much internal and emotional distress that early in the morning.

Senior Writer, Jezebel

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He’s not the only Republican just finding out what his job entails....