Texas Gov. Rick Perry clears final hurdle to serve in Donald Trump’s cabinet

Republican presidential candidate, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at the Defending the American Dream summit hosted by Americans for Prosperity at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominations (all times local):

2:15 p.m.

The Senate has confirmed former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to serve as energy secretary under President Donald Trump.

The vote was 62-37 on Thursday.

Perry — who once pledged to eliminate the department — has repeatedly promised be an advocate for the agency and to protect the nation’s nuclear stockpile. Perry also has said he’d rely on federal scientists, including those who work on climate change.

Perry has said he’ll work to develop American energy in all forms — from oil, gas and nuclear power to renewable sources such as wind and solar power.

Democrats say they accept Perry’s disavowal of his 2011 pledge to abolish the Energy Department. But they’re worried he may not stand up to GOP proposals to slash the department’s budget.

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11:10 a.m.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry cleared a Senate hurdle in his bid to become Energy secretary in the Trump administration.

The vote on Thursday was 62-37 to move ahead on the nomination.

At his confirmation hearing, Perry vowed to be an advocate for an agency he once pledged to eliminate and promised to rely on federal scientists, including those who work on climate change.

Perry served 14 years at Texas governor. He said he was for “all of the above” on energy production, from oil and gas to renewable sources like wind and solar power, before former President Barack Obama embraced the strategy.

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