Energy Secretary Perry resigning at end of year, Trump says




  • In Business
  • 2019-10-17 23:20:46Z
  • By Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - Energy Secretary Rick Perry will leave his job by the end of the year, President Donald Trump said Thursday.

Perry "has done a fantastic job" at Energy, "but it was time" for him to leave, Trump said.

Perry, 69, a former Texas governor, has been energy secretary since March 2017, making him one of the longest-serving members of Trump's Cabinet, which has seen huge turnover.

He was traveling with Trump to Texas when he notified the president of his decision aboard Air Force One.

Trump told reporters he "knew six months ago" that Perry wanted to leave by the end of the year. "He's got some ideas for doing something else. He's a terrific guy," Trump said.

Trump said he already knows who will succeed Perry, but declined to identify the person.

Perry's departure comes as he is under scrutiny over the role he played in the president's dealings with Ukraine, which are currently the subject of an impeachment inquiry.

House Democrats have subpoenaed Perry for documents related to a Ukrainian state-owned energy company as well as his involvement in a July call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. The lawmakers set a Friday deadline.

Trump has said Perry teed up the July 25 call, in which Trump pressed Ukraine to investigate his Democratic rival Joe Biden and his son, who was employed by a Ukrainian gas company.

Perry did not answer questions about his decision upon arrival in Fort Worth.

A spokeswoman for Perry could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.

The spokeswoman, Shaylyn Hynes, has said Perry wanted Trump to speak with the Ukrainian leader on energy matters related to U.S. efforts to boost Western energy ties to Eastern Europe. It is part of a long-term effort to lessen the political control Russia wields through its dominance of the fuel supply.

The Associated Press reported this month that a circle of businessmen and Republican donors touted their connections to Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, as they sought to install new management at the top of Ukraine's state-owned gas company last spring.

The plan hit a snag after Zelinskiy's election, but Perry took up the effort to install a friendlier management team at the company, Naftogaz. Perry attended Zelinskiy's May 2019 inauguration as the administration's senior representative and met privately with Zelinskiy. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Perry had disputed published reports that he was planning to leave the administration. He told a news conference in Lithuania earlier this month: "One of these days they will probably get it right. But it's not today, it's not tomorrow, not next month. Keep saying it and one day you'll be right."

Perry, who twice ran for president before taking the job at Energy, has kept a relatively low-profile in his 2 ½-year tenure. He has supported Trump's call for "energy dominance" around the world and pushed to bolster struggling coal-fired and nuclear power plants. He said last year that a rash of coal and nuclear retirements was "alarming" and posed a looming crisis for the nation's power grid.

"If unchecked, (the plant closures) will threaten our ability to recover from intentional attacks and natural disasters," Perry said at a speech in Texas.

Trump, who has frequently promised to bring back coal jobs, directed Perry in June 2018 to take "immediate steps" to bolster struggling coal-fired and nuclear power plants to keep them open, calling it a matter of national and economic security.

No definitive action has been taken since then. A regional transmission organization that oversees the power grid in 13 Eastern and Midwestern states said there's no immediate threat to system reliability.

Perry has won plaudits from lawmakers for an easygoing style that reflects a life in politics, and he has frequently distanced himself from severe budget cuts to energy programs sought by the White House. He has toured Energy Department sites around the country, represented the Trump administration at meetings overseas and begun a years-long process to revive a shuttered nuclear waste dump at Nevada's Yucca Mountain.

Before taking the Energy job, Perry had been subjected to widespread ridicule after forgetting the name of an agency he pledged to eliminate as president. That agency was the Energy Department. Despite that, Perry has emerged as a strong defender of the department's work, especially the 17 national labs that conduct cutting-edge research on everything from national security to renewable energy.

"I'm telling you officially the coolest job I've ever had is being secretary of Energy ... and it's because of these labs," Perry told employees at the Idaho National Laboratory in 2017.

Trump denied reports that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott or Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy could replace Perry, but said, "They would both be very good."

__

Colvin reported from Fort Worth, Texas. Associated Press writer Kevin Freking in Washington contributed to this report.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Conservative Denver Radio Host Fired Midshow After Criticizing Trump
Conservative Denver Radio Host Fired Midshow After Criticizing Trump

Conservative Denver radio station 710 KNUS fired host and former district attorney Craig Silverman during his broadcast Saturday after he criticized Donald Trump, according to the Denver Post.Silverman told the paper he was taken off the air for replaying a 2015 interview with Trump surrogate Roger Stone, who was found guilty on seven federal charges on Friday including witness tampering.In the interview, Silverman told Stone that one of his biggest concerns with Trump was his connection to Roy Cohn, who assisted Joseph McCarthy in the House Committee on Un-American Activities in the 1950s and later served as Trump's personal lawyer. The Colorado radio station promptly took Silverman off...

Louisiana
Louisiana's John Bel Edwards wins reelection to remain Deep South's only Democratic governor

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards will remain the only Democratic governor in the Deep South despite an all-out effort by President Donald Trump.

Bill Clinton to Donald Trump on gun control inaction during impeachment:
Bill Clinton to Donald Trump on gun control inaction during impeachment: 'You got hired to do a job'

During an interview to react to the Saugus High School shooting, Clinton said Trump needs to work with Congress on gun control legislation during the impeachment inquiry.

Roger Stone guilty of lying to Congress to protect Trump and his campaign
Roger Stone guilty of lying to Congress to protect Trump and his campaign

The guilty verdict marks a remarkable downfall for Stone, a fixture in GOP politics. It comes amid an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Impeachment hearing: Envoy was
Impeachment hearing: Envoy was 'shocked, appalled' that Trump disparaged her on phone call

Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch told lawmakers she was "shocked, appalled, devastated" to hear Trump had disparaged her on a phone call.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Business