Latest posts by James M. Taylor (see all)
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American energy policy should promote affordable, abundant energy, and Donald Trump made a perfect choice naming Rick Perry to implement it. As Governor of Texas, Perry implemented pro-energy policies that created jobs and immunized Texas from the worst of the Great Recession. As a candidate in the 2012 presidential contest, Perry outlined a similarly effective plan for the United States. As Secretary of the Department of Energy, Perry will ensure America reaches its energy potential.
During the Great Recession, as noted by David Blackmon at Forbes.com, “Texas created 49% of all new jobs in the United States, and the vast majority of those jobs were either directly or indirectly the result of the state’s oil and natural gas boom….” Texas is indeed blessed with oil and natural gas, but it takes well-devised policy to turn those resources into economic results. New York, for example, has tremendous natural gas resources but will not allow the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) processes to extract them. Other states allow fracking but have impeded a constructive business environment that would allow energy production to reach its full potential. In Texas, Rick Perry supported strong energy production and a constructive business environment, with the results apparent in the hard numbers. For one state to account for essentially half the job growth in the nation is downright incredible.
When Perry unveiled his national energy plan in October 2011, reviews were impressive. The editorial board of National Review observed, “Gov. Rick Perry has released a jobs plan. Or is it an energy plan? Or is it an EPA-reform plan? Or is it a trade-deficit plan? The plan is a bit of each. And it is a very good one.”
National Review noted, “Governor Perry’s plan speaks to what is actually holding back the American economy and what Washington can realistically do about it.” National Review added, “These are ideas that need to advance in Washington.”
Perry has consistently advocated removing obstacles to all-of-the-above energy sources. Beyond fracking, Perry supported removing obstacles to building new nuclear power plants. He presided over a large ramp-up of Texas wind power production, though even the left-of-center Brookings Institution acknowledges wind power is more expensive than conventional energy sources. Benefiting from these pro-energy, pro-growth policies, Texas electricity prices have declined nearly 25% since 2008. National electricity prices, by contrast, are higher now than in 2008 (see U.S. Energy Information Administration data at charts 5.6.B. for 2008 here and 2016 here).
Affordable energy is a powerful economic stimulant. Energy costs are a factor in virtually all goods and services bought and sold in our economy. When energy prices are lower, the costs of producing goods and services are lower, which operates like a tax cut. People and businesses can purchase more goods and services at lower prices. Also, people and businesses have more money left over from their direct energy bills. This extra money allows people to buy more goods and services that make life healthier, longer-lasting, and more enjoyable. The extra money also allows businesses to expand and hire more workers.
President-Elect Trump has made it clear he intends to revitalize America’s economy. Any plan to do so will greatly benefit from abundant and affordable energy. As his words and deeds show, Rick Perry is the perfect person to accomplish that mission.
[Originally Published at Forbes]