A day after Secretary of Energy Rick Perry toured a coal-fired power plant in northern West Virginia, the former Texas governor sat down with theWashington Examiner at the National Energy Technology Laboratory in suburban Pittsburgh.
The facility is one of 17 government-funded national labs within the Department of Energy and is also part of a fascinating chapter in American history, not just in the development of energy, but also of science. The complex, atop a rolling Appalachian ridge, once housed the head of the Ordnance Engineering Group for the Manhattan Project and the researchers and scientists who helped design the trigger for the first atomic bomb.
Perry visited for a tour of the lab that is working to expand the possibilities for horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in shale. He praised work the lab is also doing to identify and extract rare-earth elements from coal and coal byproducts.
The former Republican presidential candidate was confirmed by the Senate in March fairly comfortably, especially considering the partisan pushback some of President Trump’s Cabinet picks received. The job requires Perry to oversee the nation’s nuclear weapons programs, 17 national laboratories, and energy research and development that includes more than 100,000 employees spread throughout the country.
Of the 17 labs, this one is the only one entirely run by the federal government.
Sitting in a conference room overlooking the lush 38-acre Energy Department facility, the secretary discussed the Trump administration’s ambitions for energy policy, his responsibilities and approach to the office, and what he hopes to accomplish by the time he leaves office.
Read the full piece HERE.