By David Jackson, USA Today–

Donald Trump confirmed Wednesday that he will nominate former Republican primary rival Rick Perry to lead the department of Energy,  an agency that the former Texas governor once wanted to abolish.

“As the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry created created a business climate that produced millions of new jobs and lower energy prices in his state, and he will bring that same approach to our entire country as Secretary of Energy,” Trump said in a statement announcing the selection.

Perry, citing his experience as governor of “the nation’s largest energy producing state,” said in a statement that “I know American energy is critical to our economy and our security. I look forward to engaging in a conversation about the development, stewardship and regulation of our energy resources, safeguarding our nuclear arsenal, and promoting an American energy policy that creates jobs and puts America first.”

Perry unsuccessfully sought the presidency twice, and the Energy department played a role in his infamous “oops” moment during his run for the 2012 Republican nomination. During a debate in late 2011, Perry could name only two of three Cabinet departments he wanted to abolish; Energy was the one he couldn’t recall.

A Texas A&M University graduate, an Air Force veteran, and a former farmer, Perry became governor of Texas after George W. Bush won the presidency in 2000. Perry did not seek re-election in 2014.

During his unsuccessful campaign for the presidency in 2016, Perry and Trump attacked each other vehemently during the early part of the Republican primary campaign. Perry described Trump as “a cancer on conservatism,” while Trump said Perry started wearing glasses to try and make himself look smarter.

Democrats quickly noted that Perry is a board member and owns stock in Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, the company trying to build the disputed Dakota Access pipeline.

They also question his overall qualifications, noting that the department of Energy is responsible for securing nuclear weapons.

“I’m not confident that Rick Perry is fully cognizant of the role that DOE plays in keeping our nuclear deterrent safe, secure and reliable,” said U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “He is utterly unqualified to lead this critical agency.”

The Perry nomination also drew scorn from the nation of North Korea.

The Twitter feed of the nuclear-armed dictatorship said, “Donald Trump minister of nuclear weapons Richard Perry known as governor of Texas province, famed for its production of tacos and bumpkins.”

Before the appointment was announced, Trump aides cited the job and economic growth in Texas during Perry’s years as governor.

“We talk about Texas’s economic revival, and a lot of that had to do with the energy sector,” said Trump transition spokesman Jason Miller.

As for Perry’s past calls to eliminate the federal department of Energy, Trump spokesman Sean Spicer said appointees are buying into the president-elect’s agenda, not the other way around.

“They’re buying into president-elect’s vision and his desire to real change brought to Washington,” Spicer said.

The conservative Club for Growth, applauding the Perry selection, called on him to fulfill his 2012 campaign pledge after all and eliminate the department he is now called on to lead.

The department of Energy “is little more than the government’s own venture capital firm for energy-related activities, and it’s time for the cronyism to end. Governor Perry has a prime opportunity to serve taxpayers by closing its doors,” said Club for Growth president David McIntosh.