Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Gov. Rick Perry's Remarks to U.S. Trust Luncheon

*Note - Gov. Perry frequently departs from prepared remarks.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011  •  Dallas, Texas  •  Speech

Thank you, Keith [Banks, President, US Trust] for that introduction.

It's a great day to be in Dallas, and this is a special opportunity to showcase the innovative spirit and ingenuity of the people of Texas.

I may be biased, but I don't think that gets enough airplay.

People have a tendency to overlook Texas when they think of cutting-edge approaches to energy, and that's a mistake.

While it's true oil, gas and other more traditional forms of energy remain an important part of our economy, we've always been a national leader in new technologies, because the Texas spirit has always been one of innovation.

From the initial oil strikes of the early 20th century, through the heart of the space race against the Soviet Union, Texas, time and again, has been home to cutting-edge ideas, along with a "can-do" attitude unmatched anywhere else.

If something hasn't been done, it's only because a Texan hasn't tried it yet.

By investing in the latest technology harnessing the power of the wind, the sun, biofuels and clean coal, Texas is taking the lead in freeing our nation from our dependence upon foreign oil and making the air cleaner for existing generations and for the ones that will follow after.

Today, Texas generates more wind power than any other state, and all but five countries.

And just a few weeks ago, I was in here in the Metroplex as NRG announced plans to install electric car charging stations throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

I think it's telling that NRG picked cities in Texas to be home to this innovative program.

It's because freedom feeds innovation, and we work hard in Texas to foster an environment that frees the private sector to do what the private sector does best: solve problems, meet challenges and create jobs.

We steer clear of crippling mandates and top-down requirements telling companies how to do their jobs. We keep our regulatory structures fair and predictable, so entrepreneurs can focus on cutting-edge products...not cutting red tape.

We work hard to create a favorable business climate, then we get out of the way.

Unfortunately, some in Washington don't subscribe to the Texas approach.

Look no further than our ongoing struggles with the EPA if you need an example of what I'm talking about.

For nearly two decades, Texas enjoyed a successful, jobs-friendly flexible permitting program that not only cleared the air, it helped create jobs.

Put in place under Gov. Ann Richards and operated under the oversight of presidential administrations representing both parties, this system worked, with ozone levels falling by 27 percent between 2000 and 2009 and NOx emissions dropping by nearly 58 percent.

That was during a time when Texas employers were leading the nation in job creation, too, with our population growing by more than 4 million.

Despite our success, the EPA continues to try and outlaw this sensible, successful program, endangering the jobs of thousands of hard-working Texans in the process.

In Texas, we've shown you can protect the environment while you protect jobs.

That's just one example, but the thread is consistent.

From emissions to health care to education, Washington wants everyone to follow their standards or pay the price.

We're willing to take our chances because, again, innovators need to have the freedom to innovate, and that's a lot easier to do when you don't have the federal government mandating your every move.

We'll need everyone at their best as we work to free our nation from foreign oil dependency and keep Texas the energy capital of the nation.

Thankfully, as evident here today, the spirit of innovation still lives in the Lone Star State.

May God bless you and, through you, may He continue to bless the Great State of Texas.

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