March 02, 2017

Wyden Votes ‘No’ on Perry to Lead Energy Department

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today issued the following statement on his vote against confirming former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to lead the U.S. Department of Energy:
The Energy Department can set the temperature for a boom in good-paying American jobs in clean energy technologies like wind, solar and hydropower. But as Trump is threatening to slash DOE’s budget, Gov. Perry hasn’t convinced me he’s up to the task of creating those jobs and putting points on the board in the fight against climate change,” Wyden said.
I am also not convinced that someone who just months ago supported abolishing the Energy Department understands the urgent need to clean up millions of gallons of toxic, radioactive waste left over from nuclear weapons work at Hanford, which threaten the Northwest’s lifeblood, the Columbia River. Protecting Pacific Northwest workers and families from this threat requires real leadership, including ending a longstanding culture of retaliation against whistleblowers who raise safety and management alarms. I am not confident Gov. Perry can meet this test where so many have failed.

Wyden is the former chair and a senior Democrat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. He voted against Perry’s nomination in the committee meeting on Jan. 31.