Stuff that matters

Dirty Dancing

Rick Perry once said he would eliminate the Department of Energy. Now he will run it.

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen the former Texas governor and Dancing With the Stars contestant as his secretary of energy.

During his own run for the Republican nomination for president in 2011, Perry named the Energy Department as one of three that he wanted to dismantle — or he would have, if he could have remembered its name.

Perry’s primary energy-related experience has been favoring the oil and gas industry while he was in office and, now that he’s out, getting paid by that industry. He sits on the board of Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, and he owns $100,000 worth of the company’s stock. And Perry serves on the board of Sunoco, which is also involved in the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Perry is a proud climate change denier: As governor of Texas, he responded to a severe drought by calling for three days of prayer, and he doesn’t think the science on climate change is “settled.” No wonder Texas political insiders call him “Bush without the brains.”

Perry will succeed Ernest Moniz, a theoretical physicist, and Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize–winning physicist, in heading up the department — at least, if it doesn’t get eliminated before he’s confirmed.