President-elect Donald Trump has selected most of his key administration appointments from the ranks of his loyalists or business connections. Of the massive field of his Republican primary opponents, only one, Ben Carson, whom Trump tapped to be secretary of HUD, had yet been offered a prominent job in his administration. Even Chris Christie, who stunned the political world by endorsing Trump shortly after he dropped out of the race, does not yet have a job in or around the Trump administration.
That changed Tuesday morning when multiple sources announced that former Texas Gov. Rick Perry was Trump's pick to head the Department of Energy — an agency Perry has frequently criticized and even suggested should be eliminated entirely.
Perry joins a long list of Trump appointees who promise to undo a substantial portion of the Obama administration's focus on renewable fuels, a focus which has drawn criticism for its penchant for propping up businesses that would otherwise fail in the marketplace without direct government intervention. Additionally, cheap fossil fuels are a boon to the manufacturing sector that Trump aggressively courted — and won — on the campaign trail.
Perry's appointment also represents a finger in the eye of environmental activists who have been fighting an aggressive campaign to block the Dakota Access Pipeline. Perry currently sits on the board of the parent company of Dakota Access Pipeline LLC, which is attempting to build the pipeline over protester resistance.