Republican Perry to lay out energy jobs proposals
Republican Presidential candidate Rick Perry outlines his plan to create jobs by opening U.S. lands to 'aggressive' energy exploration and reining in the EPA.
Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 03:07 AM
Photo: ZUMA Press
WEST MIFFLIN, Pennsylvania - Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry will outline a plan on Friday to boost U.S. oil and gas exploration that he says will create 1.2 million jobs.
The Texas governor, who is looking to rebound from a series of recent struggles, is to appear at a steel mill in the Pittsburgh suburbs to promote the first part of an economic growth package.
Perry is to call for rolling back some federal regulations and opening up more federal lands for energy exploration and production, particularly for natural gas.
"We are standing atop the next American economic boom -- energy," Perry will say. "The quickest way to give our economy a shot in the arm is to deploy American ingenuity to tap American energy. But we can only do that if environmental bureaucrats are told to stand down."
After some shaky debate performances and other distractions, Perry has fallen behind front-runners Mitt Romney and Herman Cain in opinion polls of Republicans who are seeking to determine who their nominee will be to oppose Democratic President Barack Obama in the November 2012 election.
Perry, however, has strong backing from many conservatives and raised $17 million in the third quarter of this year, ensuring he will have a well-funded campaign to wage battles in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
In excerpts of his speech released by his campaign, Perry will say his plan can largely be carried out through a series of executive orders without requiring congressional approval.
"The plan I present this morning -- energizing American jobs and security -- will kick-start economic growth and 1.2 million American jobs," Perry will say.
Perry would open up for exploration and production Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which has long been an environmental battleground between Democrats and Republicans.
He would allow more offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and areas of the Atlantic while protecting the ecologically fragile Florida Everglades, aides said.
And he would back the Keystone XL pipeline to bring crude from Canada's tar sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast. The pipeline is caught up in U.S. red tape and opposed by many on various environmental grounds.
"My plan will break the grip of dependence we have today on foreign oil from hostile nations like Venezuela and unstable nations in the Middle East to grow jobs and our economy at home," Perry will say.
Perry would seek to rein in both the Environmental Protection Agency and activists who try to slow down energy projects through lawsuits.
Perry will zero in on Obama, who is struggling to reduce the stubbornly high U.S. unemployment rate of 9.1 percent amid weak growth.
"The choice in this election is between two very different visions for our country. When it comes to energy, the president would kill domestic jobs through aggressive regulations while I would unleash 1.2 million American jobs through safe and aggressive energy exploration at home," Perry will say.
(Editing by Eric Walsh)
Copyright 2011 Reuters Environmental Online Report