By Governor Rick Perry
Two of the biggest challenges facing the United States are getting people back to work and becoming less dependent on foreign oil from hostile countries.
Unfortunately, the President's rigid belief that stimulus spending could create private-sector jobs has failed and left us with higher unemployment and skyrocketing debt. His energy policies undermine America's security by making it more difficult for entrepreneurs and private employers to produce domestic energy resources.
Instead of developing proven U.S. oil and gas resources, Washington has curtailed energy exploration. The Gulf of Mexico restrictions alone have cost up to 12,000 jobs and forced drilling platforms to relocate to other countries.
America needs energy and more jobs. Our economic and national security depend on it. That's why later this week I will unveil a plan to energize job creation across the country and help make America more energy secure and less dependent on foreign oil from hostile countries. This plan is the first phase of a broader economic strategy I will reveal in the near future, and it requires no congressional action, only the strong executive leadership of a President.
As President, I will bring an "all-of-the-above" strategy to increasing our energy production, using all of our natural resources -- conventional and renewable, on-shore and offshore, including oil, gas, wind, solar, coal and nuclear. I will begin by immediately authorizing the release of some federal lands and waters for energy development, so we can start creating good jobs in the energy sector as soon as possible.
We can create hundreds of thousands of jobs and increase our oil output by 25 percent if we fully develop oil and gas shale formations in the Northeast, mountain West and Southwest. I also support drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain (ANWR), offshore expansion in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, and development of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, all of which would maintain the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. This will create more than 185,000 U.S. jobs.
I support returning immediately to 2007 levels of permitting in the Gulf of Mexico, safely and responsibly making more of the Gulf available for energy production, and allowing Eastern states to explore and develop more of the Outer Continental Shelf off the Atlantic Coast. This could create more than 240,000 U.S. jobs.
As President, I would roll back the radical agenda of President Obama's job-killing Environmental Protection Agency. Our nation does not need costly new federal restrictions, especially during our present economic crisis. I would also oppose federal restrictions on natural gas production, including hydraulic fracturing, which is successfully regulated at the state level, and will deliver the energy needed to spark our economic recovery.
If the EPA's emissions regulations go into effect as scheduled, they could cost America 1.65 million jobs by 2020, while dramatically increasing average U.S. electricity prices.
It is time for a balanced, pro-American energy policy. Economic growth and security should not be pit against environmental stewardship. My energy jobs plan would allow American industry to create 1.2 million high-paying American jobs, reduce our dependence on hostile foreign energy, and ensure a continued commitment to strong environmental policies.
Additionally, our families, communities and employers will benefit from more affordable energy prices as we increase the domestic supply. American manufacturing will experience a tremendous boost if we control electricity prices and get a handle on the cost of fuel for transportation fleets.
Much of my plan can be accomplished by changing the occupant of the White House and removing the liberal, anti-job activists running regulatory agencies in Washington. With the stroke of a pen, I will initiate a review of all Obama-era regulations, begin a comment and review period, and work to eliminate onerous rules that kill jobs with little benefit to the environment.
America needs jobs. America needs energy. The first phase of my plan will energize important sectors of the America economy, creating 1.2 million U.S. jobs -- enough jobs for nearly 9 percent of Americans out of work today. With the right people in the White House and administration, our nation can reduce dependence on foreign sources of energy hostile to our interests and implement a more affordable, reliable and pro-job "Made in America" energy policy.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry is running for the Republican nomination for President.