Rick Perry Leaves the U.S. DOE

Rick Perry is finally out of US Department of Energy.  His exit appears accelerated due to an unfolding scandal where he successfully lobbied Ukraine to award an under-market oil and gas exploration contract to his friend and political backer, Michael Bleyzer (learn more). Whatever the reason, Perry has been no friend to renewables…

“There’s no dancing around it. Rick Perry tried to prop up the most polluting energy sources and stall important efficiency standards and clean-energy research,” said John Bowman, managing director for government relations at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).  “Thankfully, most of his worst proposals flopped.”

According to Science Magazine and EE News, Perry placed early priority on helping struggling coal and nuclear facilities better compete with natural gas and renewables under the umbrella of grid resilience. The proposal would have introduced a heavy federal hand into electricity markets.

“Those actions included an eventual failed notice of proposed rule-making to FERC for a market tariff to reward power production that could guarantee on-site fuel supplies, and the potential use of emergency powers to direct the continued operations of some coal and nuclear plants.”

It’s a low bar, but I am hopeful that we can get a more qualified DOE leader next time around.


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