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The Senate confirmed former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to head the Department of Energy on Thursday in a 62-37 vote.
Perry, who ran for president in both 2012 and 2016, once advocated for the elimination of the department he now runs. In his confirmation hearing, Perry promised to champion the department charged with protecting the nation’s nuclear weapons.
The climate change skeptic also promised to listen to scientists who believe the earth’s climate is changing because of human activities.
Perry was the second of President Donald Trump’s former rivals to be confirmed on Thursday. The Senate approved Dr. Ben Carson in a party-line vote to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development earlier in the day.