President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for Secretary of Energy in former Texas Governor Rick Perry is a contrast from former secretaries Steven Chu and Ernest Moniz, both physicists in cellular biology and nuclear, respectively. However, despite objections from some environmentalists, a closer look at Perry’s tenure as Texas governor shows that his new role as Secretary of Energy means good news for clean energy. Below are three ways Perry can drive renewable energy under the Trump administration:
Growth in Wind Power
Under Perry’s tenure, wind power increased from 116 megawatts in 2000 to over 11,000 megawatts of production in 2013. This make Texas the leading state in wind energy, and the fifth largest producer of wind power in the world. In February 2016, Texas broke its own record set in December 2015 by generating 14,023 megawatts of power – enough power to meet more than 45 percent of Texas’ energy demand.
Recognition of Renewable Power as Job-Boosting Industry
Perry’s support of an “all the above” energy sources, which aligns closely to Mr. Trump’s energy stance, contributed to Texas’ massive job growth in the fossil fuel and renewable energy industries during his tenure as governor. With nearly 300,000 Americans employed in the wind and solar industries, Perry is likely to support the growth of renewable energy sources to create more jobs in the coming years.
Improvement in Infrastructure
Texas invested $7 billion in new transmission lines to connect wind power to the grid, due to the efforts of a bipartisan coalition, backed by then-Governor Perry, to improve infrastructure and support the extra capacity from wind power. For states with outdated transmission infrastructure, Perry’s nomination could advance these necessary upgrades for the addition of renewable sources to the grid.
For more information on Perry’s clean energy record visit the links below:
Rick Perry could be a greener energy secretary than you think – CNBC
Fossil-fuel lover Rick Perry made Texas greener with wind, so why not try it in Washington? – Dallas News