Perry would challenge our enemies with a strong energy policy

Texas Tribune:
Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday called on federal leaders to adopt a comprehensive energy plan that would accelerate natural gas production and allow for its export — and to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

“Now is the time for bold leadership,” Perry said in a 30-minute speech celebrating the Texas "wildcatters" who first struck oil in Spindletop in 1903 and perfected hydraulic fracturing almost a century later.

“If the EPA can establish a date certain for compliance with power plant regulations, I’m pretty sure that Congress can set a date certain for one of the single most important actions we can take to protect national security,” Perry told the audience at a summit on climate and energy policy sponsored by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank.

The governor repeatedly pointed to “aggression” from Russia as a motive for energy independence in the U.S. and U.S. exports of natural gas to European countries. He called on “America to build an energy shield to protect our allies.”

His brief reference to the Environmental Protection Agency was Perry’s only mention of the Obama administration’s June proposal to reduce carbon emissions from power plants in order to fight climate change, which was the focus of the summit.

State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, who introduced the governor, promised to “hug” the oil and gas industry and to “fight back against the EPA,” but focused the rest of his remarks on protecting Texas’ surging natural gas industry and finding more ways to use that fuel. Federal regulators have suggested that transitioning toward natural gas from coal is one of the biggest steps Texas can take towards meeting their proposed rules.

“It’s here in Texas, it’s cheap in Texas, and it’s clean in Texas,” Patrick said.

Perry’s remarks came in a rare joint appearance with Patrick — following a fundraiser in Houston that both attended. Their talks came after a series of panel discussions hosted by the foundation questioning the science of climate change and blasting the EPA’s carbon reduction plan. Under that plan, Texas would need to slash carbon emissions from its power plants by as much as 195 billion pounds of carbon dioxide in the next 18 years, according to a Texas Tribune analysis.

Earlier in the day, the audience heard from a panel of four scientists, three of whom expressed skepticism about the overwhelming scientific consensus that humans are the chief contributors to a warming planet.

“The media gets to control how these things are presented,” said Roy Spencer, a climatologist at the University of Alabama and a former NASA scientist who identified himself as a “skeptic in the field” of climate science. “This is science that is driven by the funding machine,” he added.

Spencer’s work has been quoted widely by Bryan Shaw, chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and he has been featured at previous TPPF events. Spencer and two other scientists on the panel heavily criticized the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a body of more than a thousand scientists worldwide who published a widely cited 2013 report on the state of climate science.
I attended the conference and the description of the EPA plan's effect in Texas was described as devastating to the Texas economy and totally meaningless to reducing greenhouse gases because it would be made up in a matter of days from gases being released in a matter of days from China.

Perry's plan is similar to one I have supported in dealing with Russian aggression.  I find the Tribune's use of scare quotes around the aggression absurd.  The aggression in Ukraine is so clear that no scare quotes are needed.  The policy of using LNG from the US is a way to protect our European allies from Russians use of its gas as a weapon of its aggression.


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