Rick Perry talked about energy and the environment during his October 28, 2011 interview with the Union Leader in Manchester, NH:
Perry: I’d move substantial amounts of regulations back to the states.
Union Leader: Give me an example.
Perry: I think the Governor of any state and their Environmental Protection Agency has a better vested interest – has a more vest interest – and has a better ability to address the issues of the environment in their state than the EPA.
And I’ll give you, as an example: In the decade of the 2000’s, Texas had a flexible permitting process for our clean air. I think the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act were good pieces of legislation. Don’t paint me a brush that’s so broad that says, “Oh, well he doesn’t care about the environment.” Yeah, I care about the environment.
And we did something about it in Texas. We cleaned our air up more than any state in the nation in decade of the 2000’s, and we did it by incentive based flexible permitting. And what I mean by that, Joe, is that if there’s eight smokestacks in a plant, we had a total amount of emissions that plant could emit, rather than checking each smokestack. Each point source if you will.
We were able to lower our ozone levels by 27 percent. And our nitrogen oxide levels by 58 percent during that time period.
This administration wants to come in and take that process over and put their oversight in place. We, through our comptroller study, know what that will do. It will cost a huge number of jobs – 360,000 to be exact.
It’s no different than the response that we’ve seen to the Deepwater Horizon tragedy. We know now that the private sector has the ability to address an event like that and actually cap a well that had that same event in one day, because the technology’s been developed. The last thing the industry wants is for that type of event to occur again, so they developed the technology to be able to protect our environment in the Gulf.
Yet this administration, rather than allowing for regulators that actually go out and do their job, they just basically put a slow down on permitting: 400 percent longer to get a permit today; 80 percent fewer permits for drilling in the Gulf.
I mean, those are just two examples of the knee jerk reaction that this administration has had dealing with regulations that when you audit them for their beneficial impact on, whether it’s the air or the water or the safety of people, is miniscule at best. But the costs are monstrous.
For the record, it took five months, not one day, to cap the BP oil spill. PolitiFact has rated Perry’s claims about reducing ozone and nitrogen oxide pollution as Half True:
A video of Rick Perry's full interview with the Union Leader is available on C-Span: