I like to think of myself as an articulate person, but there are a few times when I almost have difficulty forming a coherent sentence. Which I recognize isn’t an effective way to argue with anyone – temper tantrums are best left to two-year-olds and members of Congress – but sometimes there is just so much to say that it comes out more like an orangutang dancing on my keyboard.
Precisely what happened today, when I read about the most recent turn of events as our GOP hopefuls unveil their answers to Obama’s jobs plan.
As promised, the ever-progressive (note:sarcasm) Rick Perry – the pride of Texas – has now releated his own “jobs” plan. If you could call it that – the focus of his plan and his solution to our current economic downturn? De-regulation of the oil and gas industry, coupled with reduction of EPA to 40% of its current budget and capacity, which he refers to as a “restructuring.” The measures he lists include opening protected federal lands to drilling, ending all federal efforts to encourage development of renewable energy, and ending all regulation of hydraulic fracturing and all potential and future regulation of CO2 emissions. Because – of course – carbon dioxide is perfectly natural.
Before I get into dismantling this, I’d just like to interject the reaction that I believe should be shared by anyone and everyone who has the slightest concern for America’s energy future:
No, seriously. Rick Perry, what the hell is this crap? I mean, I get it. Texas has always been about big oil. Perry’s campaign alone recieved $11 million from oil companies. Oil was a valuable source of energy for many years, and Elizabeth Taylor was very glamorous in Giant. That was also during the early 20th century. Yet somehow, we can’t seem to move on from oil.
As I blogged earlier today, there is plenty of data floating around to debunk the myth that somehow, someway, EPA and EPA regulations are tied to job creation – or America’s economy in any way. What alarms about Perry’s plan, though, is the continued perception that growing our economy means growing only EXISTING industries. FoxNews continues to treat renewable energy as a joke industry, and candidates such as Perry who are unfortunately short sighted and, shall we say, old school, cannot seem to accept that emerging industries might have even greater potential for growth. Or that there might be better investments for our money. Take infrastructure, for example – studies suggests that just upgrading the water infrastructure of this country to the level that would effectively manage stormwater and meet existing guidelines would create 1.3 million jobs (http://www.greenforall.org/resources/water-works). Investment in renewable energy could create another 1.1. million jobs, and oh by the way, significantly reduce public health costs from the poor air and water quality we all suffer from as a result of fossil fuel extraction and burning. (http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.feature/id/1449)
And that’s not even getting into climate change.
I get it that Americans are upset about the economy. I get it that we need jobs, and we need them fast. But it’s not 1900 anymore, and the Texas oil boom is over. Deregulation of an already gigantic industry will neither promote growth nor bring necessary change to America.
You can read the full run down of Perry’s plan here: http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.feature/id/1449