- (Reuters/Brian Snyder)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry likes to blame federal regulation for many things, including being the handcuffs to industrial progress. As governor, Perry made Texas one of the most industry-friendly states in the country. However, in order to get that title Perry had to fight the Environmental Protection Agency. As governor, he cut back funding for environmental programs and even sued the federal EPA in order to avoid enforcing laws designed to make the air cleaners.
Still, he says that the EPA regulations are too tight and that he hopes to relax them when he is president.
“As president, I would roll back the radical agenda of President Obama’s job-killing Environmental Protection Agency,” Perry wrote recently in an op-ed for the New Hampshire Union-Leader. “Our nation does not need costly new federal restrictions, especially during our present economic crisis.”
As governor, Perry submitted a state budget that cut funding for the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality from $833.3 million to $552.5 million. That number was rejected and eventually $565.5 million was agreed upon for the agency.
In April 2009, the EPA came out with a finding that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases were to be regulated because they posed a threat to human health through climate change.
Perry, an anthropogenic climate change skeptic, decided to sue the EPA in early 2010 which prompted several other states to do the same. According to Perry, the intent of the lawsuit was to "defend Texas' environmental successes against federal overreach.” These kinds of regulations, according to Perry, serve to cost state businesses and homeowners and jeopardize jobs.
Instead of the federal government regulating Texas, Perry said last year that Washington should look to Texas for ways to solve energy and environmental issues. Texas has an "all-of-the-above approach," which encourages the construction of coal-fired power alongside wind turbines. In the area of wind power, Texas leads the country, having 6 percent of all power produced by wind in 2009.
Perry continues his anti-EPA rhetoric on the presidential campaign trail. Last Friday, he revealed his energy plan which called for new drilling across the U.S., inducing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, decreased of environmental regulations, and the dismantling of the EPA.
"We are standing atop the next American economic boom – energy – and the quickest way to give our economy a shot in the arm is to deploy American ingenuity to tap American energy," Perry said in his Pittsburgh, Pa., speech announcing his energy plan, according to The Washington Post. "But we can only do that if environmental bureaucrats are told to stand down."