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Rick Perry Is Officially in Charge of America's Nuclear Weapons Stockpile

The Senate voted 62–37 on Thursday, approving the former Texas governor to run the Department of Energy.

by VICE Staff
Mar 2 2017, 9:50pm

Photo via Flickr user Gage Skidmore

On Thursday, the Senate voted to confirm former Texas governor Rick Perry as the next energy secretary, where he'll run an agency he famously wanted to get rid of, in a role he initially might not have understood, Politico reports.

Perry humbly went back on his call to scrap the Energy Department—a pledge he made during his 2012 presidential bid—in his confirmation hearing, which ultimately helped him solidify a large majority of votes during Thursday's vote. The former governor secured votes from all 52 Republicans, as well as ten Democrats, bringing the totally tally to 62–37.

The animal-science enthusiast will now take over for former MIT physics chairman, Ernest J. Moniz, and handle energy research and regulation, as well as oversee the nation's stockpile of nuclear weapons under a president who has called for the US to "expand its nuclear capability." 

Republicans will also be eager to see if Perry will be able to reform the department that has focused on clean energy under President Obama. Although, Perry seemed to change his tune after years of climate change skepticism, telling the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, "I believe the climate is changing. I believe some of it is naturally occurring, but some of it is also caused by man-made activity."