In his first major policy speech as a presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry outlined a plan to increase domestic energy exploration Friday, but vowed to end federal subsidies and tax credits for all energy industries.
Speaking at a steel plant in Pittsburgh, Pa., Perry said that his plan "will kick-start economic growth and 1.2 million American jobs." He explained that he intends to implement the proposal through "a series of executive orders and other executive actions" within the first days of his presidency.
The plan, which would eliminate federal regulations on business and industry, would also strip companies of government subsidies and tax credits.
"This will stop the practice of Washington writing subsidy checks to any and all sectors of the energy industry," Perry said. "And it will also stop industry-specific tax credits, phasing them out over a period of time and allowing the marketplace the time to adjust."
The assertion, however, could put Perry at odds with members of his own party--even some of the most conservative Republicans in Congress--who support subsidizing pet energy companies. Most recently, Republicans split over a bill that would offer $5 billion in tax credits to the natural gas industry. One strain of the party wanted to encourage American production while the other argued that the subsidy would give natural gas companies an unfair advantage. On Friday, Perry sided with the latter faction.
Despite Perry's opposition to subsidies and credits, he would allow companies to continue writing off expenses for energy development.
"I think it is wise, however, to preserve those tax incentives for research and development," he said "I happen to believe that the best way to =invest in emerging technology is to allow the private industry the freedom to develop."
The speech also focused on eliminating regulations and opening up more land to exploration.
"The permanent bureaucracy is working to grind the economy to a halt," Perry said. "A raft of new rules and foot-dragging by the EPA and Interior Department are killing job creation."
For oil and natural gas, Perry's plan calls for returning to the 2007 permitting levels in the Gulf of Mexico, which would increase the volume of drilling in the region. Perry also vowed to open Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and Coastal Plain for exploration and increase production in the western states.
Perry delivered the speech after a television media blitz Friday morning--a departure from his campaign's usual communication strategy, which has kept the candidate away from exclusive interviews with the press. Watch his appearance on the NBC Today Show below.