The United States Senate has confirmed former Texas Governor Rick Perry to serve as U.S. energy secretary, and Senator Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, has invited him to Oak Ridge.
The Thursday afternoon vote to confirm Perry was 62 to 37. Alexander was one of the 62 senators voting to confirm Perry. So was Senator Bob Corker, also a Tennessee Republican.
“I’ve known Rick Perry for a long time and am pleased the Senate has voted to confirm him as energy secretary,” Alexander said in a statement. “He appreciates the role the Department of Energy plays in the management and modernization of our nuclear weapons—an important part of the work done at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge. He also understands that national laboratories like the Oak Ridge National Laboratory are essential to maintaining our country’s brainpower advantage. I have invited him to come to Tennessee early this year to see firsthand the important work done in Oak Ridge.”
The statement said Alexander met with Perry on January 5. On January 31, the senator voted to advance Perry’s nomination in the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources so it could be considered by the full Senate.
Alexander serves as the chairman of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, which funds the U.S. Department of Energy, and he is a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
In a moment that hurt his campaign in 2011, Perry couldn’t remember the name of the Energy Department even as he called for eliminating it during a presidential debate.
In his confirmation hearing this year, Perry told senators that he regretted his earlier call to eliminate DOE.
The Energy Department and the National Nuclear Security Administration, a semi-autonomous agency within DOE, oversee several operations in Oak Ridge, including ORNL and Y-12; the Oak Ridge Office; Office of Scientific and Technical Information, or OSTI; and cleanup work at Heritage Center, the former K-25 site. Also in Oak Ridge, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, or ORISE, for DOE.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
Do you appreciate this story or our work in general? If so, please consider a monthly subscription to Oak Ridge Today. See our Subscribe page here. Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today.
Copyright 2016 Oak Ridge Today. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.