Environmentalists are decrying President-elect Donald Trump's selections of Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and former Texas Governor Rick Perry to head the Department of Energy.
With Pruitt's lawsuits against the EPA and Perry's board membership of Energy Transfer Partners, these appointments are hailed as proof of Trump's intentions to unravel President Obama's priorities to de-carbonize the U.S. economy and promote a clean energy future.
Many have publicly worried that Trump's supposed anti-environmental agenda might lead him and a Republican-led Congress to seek to repeal tax credits promoting the wind and solar industries.
Those alarmed by Trump's apparent commitment to campaign promises to promote domestic energy by increasing the drilling of oil and gas, reversing the fortunes of the coal industry and canceling President Obama's Clean Power Plan, are jumping to unnecessary conclusions about the position the new administration will take regarding the clean energy industry.
If anything, Trump's selection of Perry as incoming energy secretary should be viewed as good news by clean energy industry executives.
A quick look at Perry's record as Texas Governor highlights the point. During his tenure, natural gas production climbed 50 percent, while oil production soared by 260 percent. However, the growth of the wind industry under Perry's tenure was even more dramatic, growing from only 116 megawatts of production in 2000 to over 11,000 megawatts in 2013.
If Texas was a country, it would rank as the fifth largest producer of wind power in the world, supplying Texas with approximately 10 percent of its power needs. In addition to promoting wind generation, Rick Perry's administration promoted the rapid growth of transmission infrastructure needed to carry that wind energy from its source in the Panhandle and western part of the state to major load centers.