Texas Governor Rick Perry said his energy plan is the first part of an economic growth package that will rebuild the engine of American prosperity. Addressing a crowd of U.S. Steel workers at the Mon Valley Works Irvin Plant in West Mifflin, he introduced the so-called Energizing American Jobs and Security plan.
The Republican presidential hopeful's energy plan would increase off-shore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, and open up a vast amount of federal land to oil and natural gas exploration and development, including Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He said it would create 1.2 million jobs.
"And right here in Pennsylvania, right across the state line in West Virginia and Ohio, we'll tap the full potential of the Marcellus Shale and create another 250,000 jobs by getting the EPA out of the way," Perry said.
Perry said he would implement the plan largely through a series of executive orders and other executive actions, cutting down the possibility of what he called Congressional gridlock.
Changing the way the Environmental Protection Agency Works is part of the plan. He said he'd like to see them have more regional and cross-state input, but that environmental policy should be left to the states.
He said he does support the development of green energy, such as wind and solar, but added that traditional fuels such as oil and coal must also be a part of the country's energy future.
"I do not accept the premise that we must pick between energy and the environment. It is time for a balanced pro-American, pro-jobs energy policy. Technologies in place today and under development can ensure cleaner development of conventional sources," he said.
Perry said that over the next few days he would put forward a broader package of economic reforms, including cuts to spending and entitlement programs.
You can read the entire speech that Perry delivered today on the StateImpact Pennsylvania website.