Perry tours Y-12 nuclear weapons plant, Oak Ridge

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry is touting the roles of the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory as central to the country’s national defense and economic development goals.

Perry said Monday that he will fight to keep jobs and boost funding for the 17 national laboratories such as Oak Ridge and other Department of Energy facilities. The secretary’s comments appeared at odds with President Donald Trump’s budget priorities released in March that outlined $900 million in cuts to the department’s Office of Science, which oversees 10 national labs including Oak Ridge.

Perry, a former Texas governor, likened the budget proposal to an opening offer that he expects to see significantly changed in Congress. In Perry’s words: “This is not my first rodeo when it comes budgeting.”