President-elect Donald Trump has been working furiously over the past few weeks to interview dozens of people for the various cabinet-level positions that he needs to fill before he takes the oath of office.
Trump only has a few positions left, and one of them is energy secretary. Reportedly Trump has narrowed his options down to three finalists, The Daily Caller reported, and one of them is definitely unexpected.
1) Ray Washburne is an investor from Dallas and the leading contender. Washburne has experience in the energy sector, as he owns several companies that deal directly with energy production. Washburne is also reportedly the favorite of Trump’s top adviser, Steve Bannon.
2) Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry — the candidate whom many are shocked about. A contender for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012 and 2016, Perry was an outspoken critic of Trump early in the 2016 primary campaign, but ended up endorsing him. Perry comes with his own additional baggage, and reportedly the transition team would prefer to see him in charge of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Perry is on the board of Energy Transfer Partners, the company that was behind the pipeline that sparked intense protests among Native Americans in North Dakota. Given the sensitive nature of the protests — as well as the recent cancelation of the pipeline route — Perry could face some intense scrutiny over involvement with the project during his confirmation hearing if he is nominated.
3) West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin — who is a Democrat. Picking Manchin would add a bit of bipartisanship to the Trump administration, which is always a good thing to have. It would also add more than a little irony.
Newsmax noted that as a presidential candidate Perry had listed the Department of Energy among agencies he would eliminate if elected, but during a November 2011 debate he couldn’t even remember the name of the department.
The International Business Times noted that picking Perry (or, frankly, any of the other choices) would indicate that Trump will be much more friendly to the fossil fuel industry than President Barack Obama has been — something that is sure to irritate liberals to no end.
Trump is likely to pick someone who will implement his policies, which will once again see American-made energy prosper, with many jobs being created in the energy sector — jobs that Obama and his regulations have been crushing out of existence for years.
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