January 31, 2017

Wyden Statement on Senate Panel Vote for Energy Secretary

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., released the following statement after voting against the nomination of former Texas Governor Rick Perry to lead the U.S. Department of Energy, in a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee meeting today:

“I pressed Gov. Perry on what he would do to change the culture for workers at the Department of Energy given the department’s disturbing history of retaliating against whistleblowers. I also asked him about his plans to clean up our nation’s stores of radioactive nuclear waste at the Hanford site in Washington State.

“Additionally, I asked Gov. Perry about how he will continue creating good-paying renewable energy jobs in the United States, and about his support for providing local businesses and communities across the country with resources they need to keep finding innovative renewable energy technologies. I also asked how he will protect clean air and clean water and address the very real challenge of climate change by working toward a low-carbon economy.

“Unfortunately, he was short on substantive answers. A clear understanding of the Energy Department’s role and a clear commitment to its purpose is especially needed in the face of the new administration’s recklessness.”

Wyden is the former chair of and a senior Democrat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.