US President-elect Donald Trump is expected to appoint former Texas governor Rick Perry as secretary of energy in his administration, reports say.
The two men made the decision during their meeting on Monday evening at Trump Tower in New York City, sources told Fox News on Tuesday.
The next secretary of energy would lead a 13,000-strong department whose main missions include providing funds for energy research, regulating energy efficiency and overseeing the country’s nuclear weapons.
As a Republican presidential candidate in 2011, Perry said he would eliminate three federal agencies including the Department of Energy. During a primary debate in that year, he even forgot the name of the department in one of the worst gaffes in American debate history.
“I will tell you, it is three agencies of government when I get there that are gone. Commerce, Education, and the — What’s the third one there? Let’s see.”
Perry is a board member for Energy Transfer Partners, which is attempting to build a controversial oil pipeline in North Dakota.
Last week, the administration of President Barack Obama halted construction of a disputed segment of the Dakota Access Pipeline, delivering a major victory to Native Americans and climate activists who have staged months of protests.
However, some tribal leaders are worried that their victory may prove short-lived as the incoming Trump administration could reverse the decision.
Perry also ran for president in the 2016 campaign, and was originally very critical of Trump.
Before bowing out of the race, he called Trump a “barking carnival act” and described his candidacy as a “cancer on conservatism.”