Last week, presidential candidate Rick Perry released his aptly named Energizing American Jobs and Security plan, a blueprint outlining his energy and environmental policies. Leaving no rock unturned, Perry lays out a strong plan aimed at spurring domestic investment and job creation, reining in the out-of-control Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); and reducing our nation’s deficit.
Keeping in line with much of the legislation coming out of the Republican controlled House of Representatives, Perry first looks to undo the damage caused by the Obama Administration over the past three years. Refusing to issue drilling permits at a reasonable rate, the Department of the Interior has put forth an impossible number of hoops for oil and natural gas producers to jump through. Across town, Lisa Jackson’s EPA has scared America’s job creators into inaction. With a slew of punitive, unnecessary regulations coming down the pipe, America’s manufacturers and energy producers are hording capital until they fully comprehend EPA’s compliance costs. Perry’s blueprint would reprimand these agencies, expediting permit processing and giving American businesses the certainty investment requires.
Consistent with Perry’s record as governor, he believes that state-run EPAs are best equipped to determine and enforce environmental regulations. Bogged down in the fight against the federal EPA, devolution of environmental regulation to state agencies is something conservatives should talk about more.
Also encouraging is Perry’s plan to simplify our distortive tax code through repealing tax credits and subsidies. Cleaning up the code of course, would be done in a revenue neutral way as he promised Americans he would not raise their taxes when he signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. ATR has long championed this strategy for tax reform, which was modeled after Reagan’s successful 1986 plan. Repealing credits and plowing the savings into lower rates would not only simplify the tax code, but make it more fair—a step towards a truly innovative free energy market.