Even Energy Secretary Rick Perry knows enough to distance himself from Trump’s energy policy.
Energy Secretary Secretary Rick Perry told Senators that he had nothing to do with Trump’s energy budget. As reported by Associated Press, both Republicans and Democrats denounced Trump’s energy budget on Thursday. Perry distanced himself from a plan that will slash spending on everything from energy efficiency to renewable energy and eliminate popular programs. As the senators damned the budget in a hearing, Perry made it very clear that he had nothing to do with it. APNews wrote, the $28 billion proposal “was written before I got here,” Perry told the Senate energy panel. “My job is to defend it.” Senator Al Franken (D-Minn) said Perry’s defending of the proposal is like a defense attorney saying “I know he’s guilty, but I’m going to give him a robust defense.”
Maine Sen. Angus King, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, said Perry was on “a suicide mission” to “defend the indefensible.” King, a former governor, said the energy proposal was “perhaps the worst budget for any agency” he’s ever seen. “This is a nonscience budget.” Others such as Energy Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) says the proposal will have to be “overhauled.” Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn) and Chairman of the Senate Energy Appropriations panel said he would reject Trump’s call to eliminate Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy which supports new energy technology research.
The Star Tribune quoted Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell who chided Perry for trying to “do nuclear clean-up on the cheap.” Specifically, she said a budget plan for the Hanford nuclear complex in Washington state was grossly inadequate and driven by White House budget officials who “know nothing about science.” Hanford, the largest U.S. site of waste from nuclear weapons production, is in the midst of a decades long clean-up with an annual budget of $2.3 billion.
Other Senators, whether Democratic or Republican, made it very clear to Perry that they are not in favor of this proposal and will fight it.