US Energy Secretary to Quit this Year
US energy secretary Rick Perry is to leave his post "at a date later this year," he said in a resignation letter published October 17. His likeliest successor, analysts say, is deputy energy secretary, Dan Brouillette, who will also focus on the struggling coal and nuclear industries and the rising oil and gas exports.
Perry made much of the influence that US LNG exports to Europe will have on the bloc's energy security, as "liberty LNG" weakens Russia's hold on gas consumers – especially those in the east. But the LNG is produced, shipped and sold by traders independently of US government.
He has been caught up in the US investigation into the phone call that US president Donald Trump made to the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy, allegedly pressing him to investigate the activities of Hunter Biden, the son of his US presidential rival, Joe Biden. Until April, Hunter Biden had been a director of Burisma Energy, active in Ukraine's upstream. There have been allegations of corruption against Mykola Zlochevsky, the founder and owner of Burisma, and also the former natural resources minister who awarded Burisma certain licences.
Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has alleged, without providing evidence, that Joe Biden pushed for the firing of Ukraine's top prosecutor to end an investigation into Burisma and Zlochevsky in order to protect his son, Reuters reported.
Perry's resignation letter made no reference to that, as he focused on US achievements in energy security and in carbon emissions reductions. He said Trump's "leadership has positively changed the course of this country, and there is much to be proud of, especially in the energy sector."
In his letter, Perry said the US had achieved energy independence during Trump's first term, so "no longer relied on other nations for our energy supply" nor was it "beholden to the geopolitics of other world leaders for our energy security.
"The work being done across the Department of Energy and throughout our national labs to develop more abundant, less expensive and cleaner energy is world-class. From reviving our commercial nuclear energy industry to producing historic levels of domestic oil and gas and renewable energy, America has seen a remarkable turnaround in our energy industry," he said.
Perry also said he was "proud to have established the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response and the Office of Artificial Intelligence and Technology. These new offices will help to provide the underlying research and building blocks for government and the private sector to work together in tackling challenges and pursuing opportunities."
A rival of Trump's for the US presidency, Perry said in 2015 that Trump "offers a barking carnival act that can be best described as Trumpism: a toxic mix of demagoguery, mean-spiritedness and nonsense that will lead the Republican Party to perdition if pursued."