President-elect Donald Trump's pick to run the Energy Department faces tough questioning by senators on creating jobs in the industry and bolstering U.S. energy security. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Rick Perry, President-elect Donald Trump's pick to run the Energy Department, faces questioning by senators on Thursday on creating jobs in the industry and bolstering U.S. energy security - but also about an earlier proposal to abolish the agency. Trump, who takes office at noon on Friday, has championed increased production of oil, gas and coal. In addition to market forces, coal has suffered under President Barack Obama's executive actions to curb climate change. Trump sees Perry, 66, who was governor of Texas from 2000 to 2015, making him the longest-serving governor of the oil-producing state, as a person who can usher in energy jobs. The energy committee senators - many of whom represent fossil fuel-producing states including Alaska, Wyoming and West Virginia - will likely ask Perry at the confirmation hearing how he plans to boost drilling, add wind and solar power capacity, and increase exports of natural gas to countries looking to reduce their dependence on Russia, a particularly important path to growth because demand for natural gas in the United States is relatively stagnate. If confirmed, Perry, who made bids for the Republican presidential nomination in both 2016 and 2012, could face market and regulatory forces that could enhance growth for the oil industry but put up hurdles for the natural gas industry.