Former Energy Secretary Rick Perry to speak at SC GOP conference

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Sep. 15—Former Secretary of Energy Rick Perry will speak at a CPAC-style conference put on by the S.C. Republican Party at the end of October.

Perry, who led the Department of Energy under the Trump administration, is among a handful of featured guests the state party announced Tuesday. Others include former Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, a Florida Republican.

More speakers are expected to be named in the near future. The get-together — the First in the South Republican Action Conference — is planned for Oct. 29-31 in Myrtle Beach.

S.C. GOP Chairman Drew McKissick in a statement Wednesday said the party was excited to host "these conservative leaders" at the the fledgling event — one that offers potential presidential candidates a chance to test the waters in early voting South Carolina.

"Our grassroots activists and leaders on the ground punch above their weight on the political stage," McKissick said, "and we're looking forward to hearing from our strong party leaders, preparing for 2022, and showcasing the talent and resources our state has to offer on a national level."

As energy secretary, Perry was instrumental in the termination of the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility at the Savannah River Site as well as the federal government's tilt toward dilute-and-dispose, another means to process and dispose of defense plutonium.

During his presidential campaign years ago, Perry said he wanted to abolish the Energy Department: "And I will tell you, it's three agencies of government, when I get there, that are gone."

Perry left his post atop the Energy Department at the end of 2019.

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