Wednesday, 14 December 2016

what was that? i couldn’t hear you over my freedom

With deft irony, the US president-elect has selected not just another avowed climate-change denier to head the Department of Energy (the government bureau responsible for maintenance and integrity of the nation’s grid electrical grid, nuclear power plant security, surprisingly, the nuclear weapons arsenal and for enticing innovation in the sector by doling out grants for clean-energy initiatives), he selected the one early sparing-partner and opponent, former Texas governor Rick Perry.
Perry infamously pledged that he would dissolve the DoE along with two other departments if elected president—only he could not recall Energy on stage, just Education (selectee Betsy DeVos, Amway Queen and strong supporter of charter schools and voucher-programmes) and Commerce (selectee Wilbur Ross, collector of René Magritte’s works and specialist in buying out distressed businesses). It makes me think of that scene from The Simpsons Movie where Abraham starts speaking in tongues and writhing around in the church aisle, shrieking epa, epa, eeepa! The selectee for the Environmental Protection Agency is Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who has sued the agency numerous times for trying to curtail fracking operations and regulating bovine methane emissions (failing each time) but is more regarded for his stance against other social issues and general litigiousness. Of course, cabinet members serve at the pleasure of the president and usually are not long-lived and there’s a lengthy history of sine cure and mismatched postings but Perry’s immediate predecessors both hold doctorate degrees in physics.