Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who still awaits a vote by the U.S. Senate to become the next Secretary of Energy, indicated he believes the U.S. “can achieve both economic growth and emissions reductions with the right policies” in response to written follow up questions from his confirmation hearing. “I am committed to thoughtful policies that balance these two objectives,” he wrote in response to a question from Sen. Ron Wyden. “That said, before committing to policies and programs that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, I would like to see what those programs entail.”

In his written answers, Perry often pointed to his record in Texas, which has experienced a renewable energy boom, as well as indicating he believes climate change is caused by a variety of factors, human activity being one. He reassured committee members that he does not intend to cut climate research at national labs and said he intends to be “fully briefed” on the Paris climate agreement.

Perry passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee by a vote of 16-7.