Late last week Texas Governor Rick Perry released his energy plan: “Energizing American Jobs and Security.” Regardless of whether Perry wins the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, the editors at National Review Online argue that the plan has significant merit:
It may be true that the whole country can’t have a Texas-style energy economy, but Louisiana can, and so can Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, the Carolinas, Colorado and a few other western states, Alaska, and more. And the states that do not have much energy potential have potential of other kinds lying untapped. The question is not how much oil is in the ground, but whether Americans will be allowed to develop our resources. And it is in that regard that Governor Perry’s plan speaks to what is actually holding back the American economy and what Washington can realistically do about it.
Governor Perry argues that much of his agenda could be accomplished without going through Congress. That would mean a lot of executive orders and some arm-twisting of governors and state legislatures. That’s a lot of unilateral executive action, but then, there’s been a lot of unilateral executive action suffocating the energy industry.
Former Democratic Congressman Harold Ford echoes many of Perry’s same points at The Wall Street Journal:
We won’t achieve energy security by restricting our own companies from drilling or singling them out for punitive taxes. We’re talking about an industry that provides millions of jobs and, for the foreseeable future, the power for our economic growth.
So our focus right now has to be to find ways to encourage domestic energy supplies, even while we encourage new sources of energy.