President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Rick Perry, an ardent believer in removing restrictions on oil drilling, as the head of the US Department of Energy.
Perry served as governor of Texas for 14 years, during which he was a strident opponent of environmental regulation on oil production, a major part of the Texas economy.
Perry was beaten in the race for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2012 by Mitt Romney. During that campaign he called for the Department of Energy to be abolished – and once infamously forgot which departments he wanted to eliminate.
Perry had previously run against Trump for the Republican nomination, calling him a “cancer on conservatism” when he dropped out of the race. However, he later rescinded his condemnation.
The announcement comes after Trump appointed former Exxon Mobil chief executive Rex Tillerson as his nominee for secretary of state. Oil stocks have driven US indices to record highs partly on the back of expectations of Trump’s pro-oil deregulation.
Perry is not Trump’s first adviser who wants to abolish the department he will be running from January: Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt was previously chosen to serve as head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Pruitt had repeatedly challenged the EPA in court in an attempt to stop President Barack Obama’s environmental legislation.