>> To the senate committee.>> Former Texas Governor, Rick Perry, opening his Senate confirmation hearing Thursday, to say he regrets putting the Department of Energy on a list of agencies he said he wanted to abolish back when he was a presidential candidate in 2012. That was then. Now, Perry is President-Elect, Donald Trump's nominee to lead that very department.
>> In fact, after being briefed on so many of the vital functions of the Department of Energy. I regret recommending its elimination.>> Perry, under scrutiny for those remarks, as well as a shift in his views on climate change with Democratic Senator Al Franken pressing him on the issue.
>> How much climate change do you think, does science shows as due to human activity?>> Senator, it's far from me to be sitting before you today and claiming to be a climate scientist. I will not do that.>> I don't think you're ever going to be a climate scientist, but you're going to be head of the Department of Energy.
>> That's correct, and I know how to hire a really good scientist.>> Part of a line of questioning that drew laughs from both sides of the aisle.>> Did you enjoy meeting me?>>
Outgoing Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz is a nuclear physicist. He was preceded by Nobel Prize winning physicist Steven Chu.
Rick Perry has no background in science. He does, however, have deep ties to the US oil and gas industry. As Energy Secretary, he'd be in charge of energy policy and the US nuclear weapons arsenal. A responsibility, the New York Times is reporting, he was not fully aware of when he accepted the nomination last month.