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Trump to nominate former rival Texas Gov. Rick Perry as energy secretary

In famous 2012 campaign debate 'Oops' moment, Perry advocated abolition of the Cabinet-level agency he's set to lead.

By Ed Adamczyk
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Trump to nominate former rival Texas Gov. Rick Perry as energy secretary
Former Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) walks through the lobby of Trump Tower in New York City following his meeting with President-elect Donald Trump on Monday. Sources say Perry will be Trump's choice to lead the Department of Energy. Pool photo by Albin Lohr-Jones/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- President-elect Donald Trump selected former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to head the Department of Energy, sources familiar with the transition process said.

Perry, 66, met with Trump on Monday, and the sources told NBC News that former presidential candidate will be nominated. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Texas oil and gas investor Ray Washburne were under consideration for the Cabinet post, CBS News reported.

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Perry's nomination comes with some irony. As a 2012 presidential candidate, he favored abolition of the very department he could lead. He also forgot its name during a November 2011 primary debate. He identified three agencies he sought to close, and named the Commerce and Education Departments before admitting, "The third one, I can't. Sorry, oops."

During the 2016 presidential primary campaign, Perry referred to Trump as a "barking carnival act" before dropping out of the race and endorsing Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

Possibly complicating the nomination, Perry is on the corporate board of Energy Transfer Partners, the parent company of Dakota Access LLC. The Obama administration blocked construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline through North Dakota and South Dakota's Lake Oahe reservoir, although Trump has said he supports construction of the pipeline.

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Trump, a former investor in Energy Transfer Partners, has said regarding Dakota Access that "When I get to office, if it's not solved, I'll have it solved very quickly."

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