Former Governor of Texas and presidential candidate, Rick Perry once listed the Department of Energy as one of three departments he would eliminate. As governor Perry championed the oil industry, questioning science that shows that greenhouse gas emissions contribute to climate change. At a presidential town hall in 2011, he said, "I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects." Perry did, however, lead on a handful of environmental efforts, pushing water conservation and taking advantage of federal incentives for wind energy to make Texas the lead wind energy producer in the country.
Read the AAAS letter to Secretary of Energy nominee, Rick Perry.
Why is this department important to the science community?
The Department of Energy is the largest funder of basic research in the physical sciences, from cutting-edge investigations in materials science and biology as it relates to energy production, to crucial work to ensure the safety and reliability of our nuclear arsenal. This work serves to ensure our nation's energy security and advance the goal of energy independence, as well as furthering our resilience against both cyber and physical attacks and extreme weather events.