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Rick Perry speaks with Jim VandeHei and Chuck Todd at an Axios/NBC energy policy event Thursday morning in Washington, D.C. Photo: Chuck Kennedy / Axios

Energy secretary Rick Perry joined an Axios/NBC event this morning, helping us drive the discussion about the administration's energy policy priorities in 2017. Perry told Axios' CEO and co-founder Jim VandeHei and NBC's Chuck Todd that he thinks climate change is real and humans "have an impact on it," but that "I still think the science is out on" whether humans cause 100% of it.

Yes, but: The scientific consensus is that human activities have been the primary driver of the warming trend since the mid-20th century.

On nuclear power: "It's zero emissions…Are we smart enough to deal with the waste? I think we are. That's a political issue."

The reasoning behind revitalizing the coal industry: "If you can guarantee me that the wind's going to blow tomorrow…then I'll buy into that. But you can't...Our job is to make sure the electricity's on."

About the future of energy: "The holy grail of energy may be in a national lab…and it's about battery storage…battery storage changes the world."

On Puerto Rico response: "We were slow getting [electricity] back if we use Florida and Texas as your model," but Puerto Rico is different.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Podcasts

Net neutrality on the line under Biden

Federal net neutrality rules are back on the table in the Biden administration, after being nixed by Trump, but now might be complicated by the debate over social media companies' behavior.

Axios Re:Cap digs into why net neutrality matters and what comes next with Nilay Patel, editor-in-chief of The Verge and host of the Decoder podcast.

House grants waiver for retired Gen. Lloyd Austin to lead Pentagon

Defense Secretary nominee Lloyd Austin Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The House voted 326-78 on Thursday to grant retired Gen. Lloyd Austin a waiver to lead the Pentagon, clearing the way for the Senate to confirm President Biden's nominee for defense secretary as early as this week.

Why it matters: Austin's nomination received pushback from some lawmakers, including Democrats, who cited a law that requires officers be out of the military for at least seven years before taking the job — a statute intended to reinforce the tradition of civilian control of the Pentagon.

Amanda Gorman steals the show on Inauguration Day

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Axios Visuals

Poet Amanda Gorman by far generated the most average interactions on social media on Inauguration Day, according to exclusive data from NewsWhip.