Announcing his departure from the Department of Energy, Perry said in an official statement via Twitter, “It has been the honor and privilege of a lifetime to serve in the @realDonaldTrump Administration as your Secretary. Thank you to my wife, my children, and to the American people for allowing me to serve. Signing off. – RP.”
Despite calling for the elimination of the Department of Energy during his run for president in 2012 and famously forgetting to name the federal department during a debate, Perry has been lauded by both Democrats and Republicans alike for his leadership and the energy initiatives undertaken since his appointment as Secretary in March 2017.
In recent weeks, Perry has gained public attention for his alleged involvement in the Ukraine crisis, currently at the center of the ongoing House impeachment inquiry.
Despite allegations, Perry has denied having any knowledge of alleged actions undertaken by President Trump to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into investigating the business dealings of former Vice President Joe Biden and/or his son, Hunter Biden.
Additionally, Perry has attributed his travel to diplomatic efforts made with the intention of advancing American energy interests in the region, despite previous claims from President Trump that the president’s phone call with the Ukrainian president was undertaken at Perry’s urging.
As the top natural gas producer in the world, the United States has been wielding its energy exports as a tool overseas. Perry oversaw the Department of Energy’s liquified natural gas (LNG) initiative, which is partially aimed at providing gas to eastern European nations like Ukraine.
Negotiations with Ukraine over energy have been of high importance for U.S. foreign policy following Russia’s 2014 invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea. A vast number of Russia’s gas pipelines are housed in Ukraine.
Prior to serving as Secretary of Energy, Perry served the state of Texas in a number of capacities, including as a Texas State House representative, the commissioner of agriculture, lieutenant governor, and governor.
A native Texan, Perry served as governor from 2000-2015, making him the longest-serving governor in Texas history.
At the federal level, Perry launched presidential bids in both 2012 and 2016.
In a tweet announcing Perry’s resignation in October, President Trump thanked Perry for the “outstanding job” he did, referring to him not only as Secretary of Energy but as a “friend.”
“Rick was a great Governor of Texas and a great Secretary of Energy,” the president said, before announcing his intention to nominate Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette to be Perry’s replacement.
Previously, Brouillette served as an assistant secretary at the Department of Energy under the George W. Bush administration and as a chief of staff to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Perry bid farewell to those at the department by thanking the men, women, and management of the agency, saying, “God Bless you and may God continue to bless this great country of America.”
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Sarah McConnell is a reporter for The Texan. Previously, she worked as a Cyber Security Consultant after serving as a Pathways Intern at the Department of Homeland Security – Citizenship and Immigration Services. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Texas A&M as well as her Master of Public Service and Administration degree from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M. In her free time, Sarah is an avid runner, jazz enthusiast, and lover of all things culinary.