Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, December 13, 2016

Contact:         Patrick Sullivan, (415) 517-9364,

Energy Secretary Nominee Rick Perry Has History of Climate Denial, Link to Spill-prone Company Behind Dakota Access Pipeline

WASHINGTON— Energy secretary nominee Rick Perry is a climate change denier linked to the spill-prone pipeline company trying to build the notorious Dakota Access Pipeline.

“Perry's scientific illiteracy and disturbing financial ties to fossil fuel companies make him utterly unfit to lead the Department of Energy,” said Kassie Siegel of the Center for Biological Diversity's Climate Law Institute. “Every senator who cares about science and clean energy should oppose this dangerously ignorant nominee.”

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Perry would head a federal department that has played an important role in America's efforts to fight global warming and increase renewable energy use.

During a 2012 presidential debate, Perry famously could not remember Energy being on the list of federal agencies he'd proposed eliminating. The former Texas governor has called the scientific consensus on climate science a “contrived phony mess” and a “secular carbon cult.”

Perry has taken more than $11 million in donations from the oil industry over his political career. He also sits on the board of Energy Transfer Partners, which over the past decade has been responsible for 29 pipeline safety incidents that have leaked hundreds of thousands of gallons of hazardous liquids, according to a recent Center analysis of federal data.

Those spills resulted in $9.5 million in property damage, according to information from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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