Rick Perry jobs plan: Make rest of America more like Texas
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, in an address in Pennsylvania, says the energy sector could create jobs in plenty of states where there are resources, and vows to lead charge to clear regulatory hurdles.
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In remarks at a Pittsburgh-area steel plant, Governor Perry sketched a vision of a nation where more than 1 million additional workers can be busy drilling for oil and gas, mining for coal, and finding new offshore resources.
"Right here in Pennsylvania, and across the state line in West Virginia and Ohio, we will tap the full potential of the Marcellus Shale and create another 250,000 jobs," he said in unveiling a major piece of his overall economic plan.
In short, his point is that the nation's job climate wouldn't be so bleak if the rest of the nation takes a cue from his own home state. And he pledged that if elected president, he would lead the charge with efforts to clear regulatory hurdles out of the way.
"We have the resources we need to fuel our cars, our homes, and our power plants," Perry said. "They can be found in ... Oklahoma, North Dakota, New Mexico, Alabama, Kentucky, throughout the American West, and, of course, Alaska."
He didn't tout energy development as the only solution needed for an economy where some 14 million workers are now unemployed. But he suggested that 1.2 million jobs could come from such efforts, while also making the nation more secure from dependence on foreign oil.
Perry is putting forth his proposal, which he named "Energizing American Jobs and Security," at a time his campaign needs a boost. In recent weeks he has been outflanked by the rise of Herman Cain, whose "9-9-9" plan for tax reform has found broad appeal. And Perry has hurt his own candidacy with weak performances in TV debates.
A risk is that his emphasis on energy will seem narrow-bore and predictable (any surprise that a Texas governor likes domestic oil production?). Perry made a point of noting that he has other pieces of his economic plan on the way, including proposals for a tax-code overhaul, entitlement reform, and taming federal deficits. And by going into detail on energy, Perry arguably can show supporters that he's prepared to lead in a new direction on an important national issue.
He sought to draw a clear contrast with President Obama.
"His energy policies are driven by the concerns of activists in his party, my policies are driven by the concerns of American workers without jobs," Perry said.
He said the Obama administration has opposed fossil fuel development at home, while encouraging countries like Brazil to drill offshore and sell it to American consumers. "The American economy should not be beaten into the ground when greater energy independence and lower energy costs lie right under American soil," he said.
Is Perry right that energy is a ripe field for job creation?