The Perry Petroleum Pollution Plan

Our guest blogger is Daniel J. Weiss, Senior Fellow and Director of Climate Strategy at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Gov. Rick Perry’s energy agenda is the “Oil Above All plan” gone wild. It would allow oil companies to drill in some of our most precious places protected for our children. He justifies it by repeating Big Oil’s phony job creation numbers debunked by the Washington Post.

The Perry plan would undo safeguards from deadly smog, acid rain, mercury, and other pollution. And it ignores a clean tech future while returning to a fossil fuel past. It is of little surprise that the Perry Petroleum Pollution Plan would continue to funnel billions of taxpayer dollars to big oil companies through subsidies, while eliminating incentives for American wind and solar companies to grow. The Perry plan should be stamped “Made By Big Oil.”

Gov. Perry’s speech in Pittsburgh today highlighted his ignorance of U.S. energy policy and its consequences. He relies on “drill, baby, drill” as the heart of his agenda, which ignores the 10 percent hike in U.S. oil production and 6 percent decline in imports achieved under President Obama. He would stop efforts to improve fuel economy standards that would reduce foreign oil dependence and save families money.

Perry would likely jettison offshore oil drilling safeguards that would prevent future disasters like the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. If he wanted to protect jobs and American lives, he would not offer such a reckless policy that resulted in economic devastation for Gulf state families.

Gov. Perry’s extreme antipathy for public protection from industrial waste is embodied in his speech and administration. He would “dismantle the EPA,” halting the enforcement of safeguards that keep our water safe for drinking and air safe for breathing — public health safeguards that have saved the lives of our children, parents, and the infirm. Instead, Perry asks Americans to choose between their lives and their livelihoods, falsely claiming that regulations kill jobs.

A brand new bipartisan poll, however, found that three-quarters of independents, and nearly half of all Republicans, favor two new major air pollution standards targeted by Perry, despite an overwhelming majority of Americans — across the political spectrum — signaling their support for stronger clean air standards.

Perry’s plan would also curtail citizens’ ability to legally challenge the federal government when they believe its decisions would harm themselves or their families.

The Perry Petroleum Pollution Plan would benefit the big oil companies and their owners, while harming the rest of us. It must be rejected.