Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) blasted President Barack Obama’s environmental regulation blitzkrieg on Monday, accusing the President of promising “an energy renaissance” at the same time his Administration is “strangling the energy industry.”
“In your State of the Union address, you reassured the American people of your commitment to an all-of the-above energy strategy to bring our nation closer to energy independence while creating needed jobs,” Perry wrote in a letter to the President released Monday. “Mr. President, your words promise an energy renaissance while your policies are strangling the energy industry. You are waging a war on coal; kicking the can down the road on the Keystone XL pipeline and creating obstacles to onshore and offshore oil and gas production.”
Last week, the White House indicated that Obama will take the unusual step of personally announcing new environmental regulatory proposals for coal-fired power plants before rules are finalized by the Federal government and years before they will go into effect.
Frank O’Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch, a non-profit advocacy group in Washington, told Reuters that the move signals Obama’s desire to build a legacy on environmental activism in his final years in the Oval Office.
“There’s no question that President Obama views this as a legacy issue and he wants to be very directly involved,” he said. “It sends the signal that this is going to remain a high profile issue for probably the rest of the president’s term.”
Perry’s letter to the President comes as a bipartisan energy bill remains stalled in Congress with Democratic lawmakers balking at Republican demands for a vote on the Keystone XL pipeline. The Texas Governor told Obama that the White House deserves most of the blame for holding up the project.
“Your procrastination on the Keystone XL pipeline continues this troubling trend. After five years and a legion of environmental studies, you’ve allowed politics to trump a common-sense decision to build the Keystone Pipeline, a decision clearly in the best interests of our nation,” Perry wrote.
He continued, “The State Department has concluded that the project is environmentally sound and that construction alone would contribute approximately $3.4 billion to the U.S. economy, supporting more than 2,000 direct jobs and inducing another 40,000 indirect jobs. Your continued inaction on this critical project is delaying opportunity for thousands of American families, and that is simply unacceptable.”
Perry suggested that the President study the balance that Texas has achieved in protecting the environment as well as businesses and energy production.
“Texas employs a true all-of-the-above energy strategy, producing one third of the nation’s crude oil and natural gas and accounting for more than one quarter of the nation’s petroleum refining capacity,” the Governor wrote. “Texas produces more electricity than any other state with natural gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, biofuel and hydroelectric generation.”
Perry also said, “If adopted, the Texas approach could create jobs, contribute billions of dollars to the economy, strengthen our energy security and make the United States a global energy powerhouse today and for future generations.”
At present, Perry said that he is concerned that the Nation’s economic and energy policies are being strong-armed by an Environmental Protection Agency that “behaves more like a den of activists than a repository of even-handed regulators.”