By Thomas Graham
Originally published on The Hill. 

Anyone who knows Rick Perry knows he can’t sit still; he is always thinking and working on ways to push the envelope for new approaches and ideas. Heck, admit you were surprised to see the country boy from Paint Creek, Texas  — population 324 — D-J’ing with Vanilla Ice on Dancing With The Stars. That took energy, confidence and a willingness to try a new approach.

As governor of Texas, Perry inspired unprecedented job growth with his push for innovation and research investment with lower tax and regulatory burdens for businesses. For those of you who aren’t, “from these parts,” here are some of Governor Perry’s accomplishments:

  • He increased funding for cancer research, which has spurred breakthroughs throughout healthcare.
  • Perry launched enterprise and technology funding programs that helped make Texas a new Silicon Valley.
  • He recruited businesses aggressively, including 54 Fortune 500 companies that now make Texas their headquarters — second only to New York’s 55.
  • He fought to preserve a low tax environment that led to his election for three consecutive terms.

So what might the Department of Energy look like under Rick Perry? My best assessment is that innovation will be its hallmark and Perry will seek to expand the research and innovation capabilities and offerings of the agency through nuclear and scientific research and technological innovation.

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