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Rick Perry is right for DOE post

I am a strong supporter of President Donald Trump’s choice of Rick Perry as our next secretary of energy.

Leadership of the $30 billion Department of Energy requires executive management experience, vision and a plan. I’ve known and worked with Perry since I first came into office, and I believe he is the right person for the job.

The state of Texas has a larger budget and bureaucracy than even the DOE. During his time as governor, he balanced the budget every year, led a sprawling bureaucracy and put Texas at the forefront of job creation.

Not only did Texas invest in job creation, it invested in groundbreaking research and the development of emerging industries. Perry led the fight to create a multibillion-dollar initiative to fight cancer.

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Voters approved his vision, and today Texas is attracting leading researchers from around the world to fight cancer in its many forms.

Perry helped Texas A&M University attract a major federal grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to accelerate the development of mass vaccines in response to a bioterror attack or a deadly outbreak. Time and again he helped lead the way in attracting research dollars, drug manufacturers and a host of brilliant minds to advance science and leverage new opportunities.

Because the DOE is the national leader in scientific research, I am confident Perry will bring the same commitment to the federal level that he did to Texas – to accelerate discoveries in our labs and bring certain innovations to market in order to save lives and improve our overall quality of life.

As you know, New Mexico is home to critical national labs run by the Department of Energy. He will protect them and continue to utilize them for groundbreaking research.

Under Rick Perry, Texas led the nation in energy development. Thanks to his leadership, Texas is not only a leader in drilling for crude oil, but clean natural gas. And it is the largest producer of wind energy in the nation, surpassing the production of all but five countries.

The Texas wind rush didn’t happen by accident, but through smart policies that balanced job creation with protecting the environment. Texas was one of the first states to create a renewable portfolio standard, so electric utilities would purchase a percentage of energy from green sources.

As the market grew, Perry signed a law increasing the amount of energy that must be generated from renewable sources, a standard that was easily passed years ahead of schedule.

Because of Texas’ fair and predictable regulatory scheme, wind farms went online quickly and Texas surpassed California for wind production a decade ago. And the state left to locals the decision whether to attract wind developers through tax abatements.

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While Texas harnessed the wind and led the way in drilling for natural gas from shale formations, the air became cleaner and the climate improved. Under Perry, sulfur dioxide emissions declined by 56 percent, oxide emissions decreased by 66 percent, and carbon output declined 17 percent.

Perry’s “all of the above” approach is exactly in line with what we’re trying to do in New Mexico. Just two years ago, I unveiled a sweeping new energy policy and implementation plan for New Mexico – our first in 25 years.

Among other things, the blueprint promotes the production of all sources of energy as a means of creating jobs, diversifying a key sector of our economy and supporting our nation’s efforts to achieve energy independence.

We’re one of the most energy-rich and energy-diverse states in the nation, and we have an excellent opportunity to use these resources to grow our economy and create more jobs.

Perry’s record proves we can have economic prosperity without sacrificing environmental standards. His responsible stewardship of our resources and energy policy will improve our economy, enhance our security and protect our environment.

Rick Perry is a great choice to serve as our next secretary of energy.

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