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US senators on Thursday confirmed Rick Perry — a former presidential contender who spent more than a decade as governor of Texas — to serve as energy secretary in the Trump administration.
Senators voted 62-37 to confirm Mr Perry, who led the US’s biggest oil-producing state from 2000 until 2015. Nevertheless, his nomination has drawn some criticism given that he once advocated scrapping the department altogether.
The department has limited influence over the regulation of energy production, but it has played a role in the development of the horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, techniques that powered the shale revolution in Texas and elsewhere.
Under the Obama administration, the department placed a strong emphasis on renewable energy sources, including wind and solar, which have also been widely used in Texas under Mr Perry.
Experts expect the Trump administration to pursue an “all of the above” approach when it comes to the energy mix, ranging from renewables to the aimed revival of the coal industry.