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Rick Perry: "science is out" on man-made climate change

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.