When Donald Trump tapped former Texas Governor Rick Perry to head the Department of Energy, environmental advocates cried foul.
Perry is an avowed climate change denier. In his 2010 book, “Fed Up!” Perry described scientific evidence of manmade climate change as a “contrived phony mess.” Perry also drew criticism for sitting on the board of the Dallas-based company behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.
But, as The Texas Tribune reports, Perry’s energy legacy is a bit more complicated than it seems at first glance. While Perry has indeed been a longtime friend of the oil and gas industry, he also oversaw a wind energy boom in the Lone Star State. The state’s wind power sector hardly existed when Perry took office.
However, Perry was less helpful to the solar industry, offering lower incentives than other states. And he encouraged new coal plants even as other states were shutting down their coal operations.