Note: This is post #13 in a weekly series of explanatory posts on the officials and agencies included in the President’s Cabinet. See the series introduction here.
Cabinet position: Secretary of Energy
Department: U.S. Department of Energy
Current Secretary: Rick Perry
Succession: The Energy Secretary is fifteenth in the presidential line of succession.
Department Mission: “The mission of the Energy Department is to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.” (Source)
Department Budget: $32.5 billion for FY 2017
Number of employees: 93,000
Primary Duties of the Secretary: Leads an agency tasked with maintaining a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent and reducing the threat of nuclear proliferation, overseeing the United States’ energy supply, carrying out the environmental clean-up from the Cold War nuclear mission, and managing the 17 National Laboratories. (Source)
Secretary: Rick Perry
Previous occupation: Governor of Texas
Education: B.S. in animal science from Texas A&M
Previous government experience: Prior to being elected governor, Perry held several positions in Texas, including Lieutenant Governor, Agriculture Commissioner, and member of the Texas House of Representatives.
Religious Affiliation: United Methodist
• Served as a C-130 pilot in the United States Air Force (earned the rank of Captain).
• Awarded the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America.
• Was a GOP presidential candidate in 2012 and 2016.
On virtues: “What I learned growing up on the farm was a way of life that was centered on hard work, and on faith and on thrift. Those values have stuck with me my whole life.”
On taxes: “As Americans, we realize that there is no taxpayer money that wasn’t first earned through the sweat and toil of one of our citizens.”
On the Energy Department: “My past statements made over five years ago about abolishing the Department of Energy do not reflect my current thinking. In fact, after being briefed on so many of the vital functions of the Department of Energy, I regret recommending its elimination.”
Previous and forthcoming posts in this series: Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Education, Secretary of Labor, Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, Secretary of the Interior, Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Secretary of Transportation, Secretary of Energy, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Secretary of Homeland Security