Rick Perry’s War on Science

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from Mother Jones,

When Trump’s choice for Energy Secretary was Governor of Texas, his administration tried to censor climate scientists.

Multiple news sources reported Tuesday that former Texas Gov. Rick Perry will be Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Department of Energy. Many outlets have commented on the irony of picking as energy secretary a politician who had previously called for the department to be eliminated (and, for one infamous moment, forgot that it existed), as well as the wisdom of hiring someone whose most recent job experience was a brief stint on Dancing With the Stars.

But it’s Perry’s record on climate change that most distinguishes him from the energy secretaries who came before him. Unlike every energy chief in both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, Perry disputes that climate change is both happening and is a consequence of human action. In his 2010 book, Fed Up!, he wrote that “we have been experiencing a cooling trend” and railed against Democrats who have embraced “so-called science” on climate change. He complained the Department of Defense had devoted three whole pages to the subject in an official threat-assessment report. He kept up his climate change denial during his ill-fated 2012 presidential campaign. “There are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects,” he alleged during one campaign appearance.

As governor, Perry walked the walk. In 2011, my colleague Kate Sheppard (now with the Huffington Post) reported that Perry officials at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality had censored references to climate change in an official state report.

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