Ben Carson, Rick Perry sworn in to Cabinet positions

Rick Perry was confirmed Thursday to lead the Energy Department.

He famously forgot the agency during a Republican primary debate when he was asked to list which departments he'd eliminate.

"Ben is going to work with me very, very closely".

Perry, most known for serving as governor of Texas for 15 years and running for president in 2012 and 2016, cast himself as an advocate for a range of energy sources while testifying before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, noting that he presided over the nation's leading energy producing state.

Perry was appointed to the position after a confirmation hearing that became notable after he made an unintentional joke about Democratic Sen.

Mr Perry will replace Ernest Moniz, who was chairman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology physics department.

"With Secretary Perry at the department's helm, I look forward to working together to ensure that Hanford and PNNL have the support to accomplish their respective missions", Newhouse said.

Real leadership will be needed to to end a longstanding culture of retaliation against whistleblowers who raise safety and management alarms, Wyden said.

Perry, who once proposed eliminating DOE as a presidential candidate, told senators in his confirmation hearing that he would seek to preserve energy research funding and climate change programs at the department, but stopped short of committing to specific offices and initiatives. It is a leader in atmospheric research, nuclear detection and nonproliferation, and the nation's electric grid.

"Texas is pretty huge on wind turbine energy and things of that nature, so he may have some background knowledge on how to make it flourish as far as taking the wealth of knowledge that this state allows him to be able to do", Wiseman said. In Perry's book, "Fed Up!" he said global warming science is a "contrived phony mess", and claimed "a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling in to their projects".

In the wake of controversy over the hiring of an illegal immigrant, fast-food executive Andrew Puzder withdrew his nomination to be Labor Department secretary and was replaced by Alexander Acosta, the current dean of Florida International University law school.

Alex Daugherty of McClatchy contributed to this article.

  • Larry Hoffman