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Washington, D.C. – Today President-elect Donald Trump announced climate change denier Rick Perry as his pick to lead the Department of Energy. As Governor of Texas, Perry saddled up to big polluters at the expense of the residents of the Lone Star state. He appointed fellow climate skeptic Dr. Bryan Shaw to manage a $350 million budget as head of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) – whom the Environmental Defense Fund described as “hostile” towards the environment. And he even referred to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill as an “act of God.”

According to Gallup, concern in the United States about global warming is at an eight-year high with 64% of Americans saying they are worried a great deal/fair amount about global warming. This concern is valid, and Americans throughout the country feel the consequences of pollution everyday: Latinos are overwhelmingly affected by the quality of air and water; we are 60% more likely to end up in the hospital because of asthma, and Latino children are 40% more likely to die from asthma than non-Latino whites due to pollution in our communities.

Please see below for a statement from Cristóbal J. Alex, President of Latino Victory Fund:

“Trump’s pick of climate change denier, failed Dancing with the Stars contestant, and former Governor of Texas, Rick Perry for Secretary of the Department of Energy warrants concern and outrage.  If Rick Perry couldn’t even remember the name of the agency – which at the time he wanted to get rid of – he most definitely should not be the person running it.

“Rick Perry is a threat to clean energy, to our environment, our natural resources, and our health; he is committed to big polluters and special interests in favor of dirty energy that will further contaminate our air and water.

“This is another questionable and inexperienced pick for an administration full of cabinet members who don’t believe in the mission of the agencies they were tapped to lead, and have actively worked against it. Once again, unbelievable and unacceptable.”