Rick Perry’s Dirty Energy Plan: Drill More, Pollute More, Spew a Lot of Hot Air

Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) is the country’s top polluter. Unsurprisingly, then, before releasing his energy plan Friday, the presidential candidate released a new attack ad and op-ed that lay out a strategy of drilling for more oil and gas, rolling back clean air and clean water standards, and spewing out a whole lot of misleading claims about the EPA.

Perry’s plan for developing more oil, gas and coal with limited regulation is straight out of 1911, not 2011. But then again, this is a guy who has stuck with his dangerously ignorant attacks on human-caused climate change — all while his state withers under the worst heat and drought ever experienced in Texas.

In an op-ed published in New Hampshire’s Union Leader newspaper, Perry made it clear he wouldn’t just  “pray away” environmental regulations — he would make every effort to repeal them:

As President, I would roll back the radical agenda of President Obama’s job-killing Environmental Protection Agency. Our nation does not need costly new federal restrictions, especially during our present economic crisis. I would also oppose federal restrictions on natural gas production, including hydraulic fracturing, which is successfully regulated at the state level, and will deliver the energy needed to spark our economic recovery.

Much of my plan can be accomplished by changing the occupant of the White House and removing the liberal, anti-job activists running regulatory agencies in Washington. With the stroke of a pen, I will initiate a review of all Obama-era regulations, begin a comment and review period, and work to eliminate onerous rules that kill jobs with little benefit to the environment.

Somebody call the locksmith. Rick Perry is ready to shut down the EPA and drive out the supposed “anti-job” activists who care about a healthy environment and a livable planet.

Those regulations that Perry and other candidates keep calling “job-killers?” According to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they’re actually having a lower impact under the Obama Administration than they did in 2008 at the end of the Bush Administration (see chart below). Bruce Bartlett, a former senior official with the Reagan and George H.W. Bush Administrations, had a great op-ed in the New York Times on the false claims that Republican candidates make about regulations:

In my opinion, regulatory uncertainty is a canard invented by Republicans that allows them to use current economic problems to pursue an agenda supported by the business community year in and year out. In other words, it is a simple case of political opportunism, not a serious effort to deal with high unemployment.


Perry continues with the political opportunism by making some very misleading statements about the impact of EPA regulations:

If the EPA’s emissions regulations go into effect as scheduled, they could cost America 1.65 million jobs by 2020, while dramatically increasing average U.S. electricity prices.

Actually, no. While estimates of net job creation vary widely, the impact due to increased construction and manufacturing activity through retrofits and build-out of new power plants could be in the tens of thousands of jobs. And here’s what the “dramatic” change in electricity prices would look like with new EPA air quality regulations in place, according to the Energy Information Administration:

Aside from lying about the impact of regulation, Perry’s campaign is smearing his closest competitor, former-Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, for supporting the shut-down of an old coal plant responsible for dozens of premature deaths and more than 14,000 cases of asthma each year.

Yes, Perry is actually attacking Romney — a candidate who once had a backbone on environmental issues — for helping protecting the health of his local community. But then again, this is coming from the governor of a state with the highest levels of mercury, CO2 and toxic emissions in the country.

Perry says he’ll give a detailed explanation of his energy policy on Friday. But he’s already made it very clear what he stands for.

11 Responses to Rick Perry’s Dirty Energy Plan: Drill More, Pollute More, Spew a Lot of Hot Air

  1. Michael Tucker says:

    The choice could not be clearer and the differences between the parties could not be made more dramatic. If you feel that you do not get enough mercury, lead and arsenic in you diet, if you feel that that you just don’t get enough ozone to breath, if you feel that CO2 concentrations are too low, then you must vote for Perry. Actually, any of the Republican candidates will increase your daily intake of poison and ensure our grandchildren enjoy catastrophic climate disruption but Perry has the boldest plan.

  2. prokaryotes says:

    Reasons for hope, optimism in fight against injection wells

    After reviewing TexCom’s application for the entrance on FM 3083, the Texas Department of Transportation denied the request. According to a letter issued last week, TxDOT determined FM 3083 “does not meet the minimum requirements.”
    The TCEQ permit would allow TexCom to pump up to 12,000 barrels a day of treated wastewater into the wells over a 30-year period in the Conroe Oil Field, resulting in a few hundred trucks a day traveling the roads.
    While TexCom will file an application for a variance regarding TxDOT’s ruling, opponents of the injection well now have two fronts in which to fight the well – TxDOT’s ruling as well as a lawsuit filed by Montgomery County and the city of Conroe against the TCEQ regarding its ruling. Judge John K. Dietz, of the 250th state District Court in Travis County, will preside over the suit.
    The proposed wastewater injection wells pose a danger to our groundwater resources, our quality of life and our health – for residents across Montgomery County. Concerned citizens – through the grassroots efforts of Stop the Toxic Wells and Citizens Residents Oppose Well – have put up a good fight to protect residents from the potential hazards of this operation. The county, city of Conroe and Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District have played an integral role in continuing the effort to prevent the wells from operating here. And, state legislators, including Rep. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, and Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jackson, have stepped up to represent their constituents.
    It is a fight that must continue to protect our precious water – and county residents.

  3. prokaryotes says:

    Texas has 19 coal-fired power plants, more than any other state. In a rush to bring more energy online as its population booms, the state has plans to build nine more.

  4. prokaryotes says:

    In the Texas Panhandle, one county finds more than half its water use goes to oil and gas

    Now, the Texas Railroad Commission’s chief geologist has said the amount of water used for fracking is a problem that will likely lead to new regulations, and as the Texas Independent has reported, districts trying to get a handle on just how much water is going to the industry.

    A study for the Texas Water Development Board released in February found that few groundwater conservation districts in the state even estimate how much water is being used for mineral production, and of the 45 that responded to the researchers’ survey, “none of the districts monitored actual water use.”

    Thanks to unique conditions in the Texas Panhandle, though, groundwater managers there have gotten a head start on the rest of the state. Conservationists have rallied around a fight to keep T. Boone Pickens from selling Panhandle groundwater to cities like Dallas, and local groundwater district boards have been particularly aggressive in enforcing the regulations they make.

  5. darth says:

    Anyone know why the EIA is projecting electricity costs to fall and remain flat for so long? Looks like coal prices crashed in 2008 and have remained flat. But if the economy gets going again won’t they go up just like oil?

  6. prokaryotes says:

    Did Mitt Romney and Rick Perry Make an Illegal Million-Dollar Backroom Deal?
    A new lawsuit reveals contradictory stories about an illicit $1 million campaign contribution from “Swift Boat” funder.

  7. John Tucker says:

    Iran is doing it all wrong. Invest and open a few coal plants and a oil sands processing facility and you’ll be able to cause mass casualties and trash the US with republican blessing.

  8. muoncounter says:

    Rick Perry’s state government is also moving into that rapidly expanding field, the censorship of science:

    Rice professor accepts Gulf article’s fate

    A Rice University oceanographer said he accepts a decision by the state’s environmental agency to kill an article he wrote on sea-level rise in Galveston Bay, ending a standoff over the article’s references to rising sea levels and human-caused environmental change.

    “I’m willing to live with not having it published,” John Anderson said Tuesday. “I refuse to have it published with their deletions.”

    TCEQ is Texas’ environmental quality agency; the agency’s director, Texas A&M Biological and Agricultural Engineering Professor Bryan Shaw, was appointed in 2007 by Guvna Perry. Dr. Shaw is on record as disagreeing with the unanimous opinions of the TAMU Atmospheric Sciences department and supports his Governor’s opinions on climate change.

    Imagine how supportive of the sciences a Rick Perry presidency will be!

  9. Joe Romm says:

    Working on that story.

  10. muoncounter says:

    Great! Censorship is such a delightful attribute to find in a political candidate’s track record.