Gov. Perry Speaks at NAPE Oil and Gas Expo.
Thank you Robin [Forte’, Executive VP of NAPE Expo].
I sure appreciate being a part of such a special occasion for Mr. Reyes and his family. Alexander and Elizabeth, I wish you all many happy years in that house.
As that house becomes a home, we hope it reminds you of the gratitude that your state and nation have for you and your fellow warriors.
Great men and women have always risen to America’s defense selflessly placing their lives on the thin, dangerous line between us and those who would do us harm.
The conflicts may change, from the hard winter at Valley Forge to the fortified beaches of Normandy or the deadly neighborhoods of Baghdad but the spirit of service remains the same.
By stepping forward in defense of freedom our brave men and women have ensured that our cherished values will endure beyond our time on this earth.
As we reflect on their sacrifice, it is interesting to consider just how little we civilians are asked to surrender as our country remains on a war footing.
Robin [Forte’], when you and I were on active duty with the Air Force, things were a little different and things were a whole lot different for civilians when our parents and grandparents endured two world wars.
As our young men and women defend freedom overseas we must do our part to strengthen America’s position of power by pressing on toward greater energy independence.
Here in Texas, we have been building a deep and varied energy portfolio following a strategy that is both pragmatic and visionary.
Around the world, Texas has a well-deserved reputation as a rich source of traditional fuels.
Outsiders probably think every Texan has an oil well in the backyard and a natural gas burner in the parlor to read by.
In reality, we’re proud of our history as a leading energy producer and fully-aware that those traditional energy sources are an essential part of any viable energy strategy.
In Washington DC, they seem to think that the only way to usher in a new era is to destroy the old one and the way to create a so-called “green economy” is to simply write a law or a set of regulations that say “it will be so.”
Then they use their favorite “instruments of change” otherwise known as sweeping mandates and draconian punishments to force the square peg of their vision into the round hole of reality.
In the process, they undo decades of progress, paint hardworking entrepreneurs as selfish, and destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs.
A key part of our responsibility is educating our fellow citizens on the realities of energy production and consumption and the fact that Washington’s heavy-handed approach isn’t the way to achieve cleaner air generate less expensive energy or attain greater self-sufficiency.
For starters, I would offer them a look at our state’s pursuit of an all-of-the-above energy strategy that has led to wind turbines dotting the plains of West Texas one of the nation’s largest biomass power plants under construction in Nacogdoches and Dow Chemical’s bio-refinery in Freeport that will use algae to convert wastewater and CO2 into energy.
Those same folks might be surprised to learn about a Valero refinery in Sunray that will be powered by its very own wind farm.
Think about that for a second: A refinery powering itself with electricity generated by the wind.
Could anything paint a clearer picture of the synergy that’s possible with traditional and renewable energy sources?
Making new technology more available and affordable is the best way to see that technology put into action.
Our progress comes from decisions made on the basis of sound business principles not because of government mandates or because companies run in fear of extravagant fines.
In Texas, we’re making tomorrow’s technologies more accessible by cultivating a job-friendly climate offering incentives to make them more affordable and then getting out of the way.
I think the results speak for themselves.
Today, Texas produces more wind power than any state in the union – and more than all but four countries in the world.
Texas is also increasingly investing heavily in solar energy, with three utility-scale solar projects scheduled to begin construction soon and others in the development process.
Eleven utility companies are currently providing rebates for residential and commercial customers who install solar energy systems.
Texas is the very picture of a state aggressively seeking its future in alternative energy through incentives and innovation not mandates and overreaching regulation.
With the leadership of people like our Railroad Commission Chairman Victor Carrillo who is with us here today that’s exactly the strategy we’re pursuing in Texas and it’s working.
Ask the folks in Washington, and they'll tell you that we need a "cap and trade" system to improve air quality.
Well, I actually prefer to call it what it is: “cap and tax.” Their cap and tax proposal will not only increase the price of everything you can buy in the United States of America but also send hundreds of thousands of Texas jobs overseas and who knows how many more from other states.
It’ll be great if we can kill cap & tax, but that won’t solve the problems we’re having with an increasingly activist Environmental Protection Agency.
When the EPA declared carbon dioxide a toxic substance they put countless businesses, farms and even large churches in their crosshairs and set the wheels turning on a serious mistake.
Making that declaration at the very time that reports were surfacing about flawed and manipulated data being used to support theories of man-caused climate change struck a whole lot of observers like you and me as, well, convenient.
Calls to validate the data were disregarded and President Obama jetted off to Copenhagen to declare victory while hardworking Texans in the energy industry tried to figure out what’s next for their businesses and families.
Hopefully, what’s next is what’s been working in Texas as we have combined the power of competition with wise incentives to expand our portfolio and make our air more breathable.
Here in Texas, we've reduced emission of NOx gases 46 percent and cut ozone levels 22 percent.
Our CO2 emissions have also dropped more than nearly every other state.
While that was going on, Texas also created more private industry jobs than any other big state in the union attracted major employers in the midst of a national recession and still added roughly 1,000 Texans a day.
Employers know our low taxes, predictable regulations, fair court system and skilled workforce reward innovation and provide the incentive to solve problems in profitable ways.
If you'd like to see a good example of what I'm talking about look no further than the natural gas shale fields here in Texas where Texans are applying their know-how to access a significant domestic resource.
Locked away for eons beneath the major shale fields of Texas Barnett in the North…Haynesville in the Northeast and Eagle Ford down South are natural gas reserves for the next 47 years.
The challenge was finding a key to that lock and it wasn’t more regulations, mandates and fines.
Instead, we got out of the way and watched as the bright minds in our energy industry tackled the challenge and created new drilling techniques to reach the gas techniques that have revolutionized an industry. Energy expert Daniel Yergin described the opening of Barnett Shale as the “biggest innovation of the first decade of the century.”
Noting that the technology has now spread as far as China he said "Don't underestimate ingenuity in the energy industry."
In Texas, we never do.
Those technology breakthroughs and a lot of hard work by those energy companies have significantly increased the supply of natural gas and dramatically lowered the price of electricity over the past year.
In areas of Texas where customers can shop for the best deal on electricity they can actually pay less than they did in 2001 before we introduced competition into the market.
Because Texas has been so aggressive in building new power plants plants whose advanced technology makes them more efficient and cleaner-burning older, dirtier plants have gone off-line.
As a result, our air is cleaner to breathe. Allowing Texas companies to do the hard work of producing energy for the rest of the country has also meant more jobs and better livelihoods for more than 200,000 Texans.
Increased production has also fortified our Rainy Day Fund, which is projected to top $8 billion when the legislature reconvenes in 2012.
In the big picture, our successes in energy production from both traditional and renewable sources have moved us closer to energy independence.
That’s good for folks employed in our energy industry it’s good for consumers it’s good for the Texas economy and it’s good for national security.
So, whether you work for the energy industry or are members of the armed forces—past, present or future thank you for your contribution to our safety, prosperity and security.
May God bless you, and, through you, may He continue to bless the Great State of Texas.
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