Texas Needs To Lead The Charge On Energy Independence

AUSTIN - Gov. Rick Perry today told energy experts that as a matter of foreign and economic policy, the nation must reduce its dependence on foreign oil by building a deeper, more diverse energy portfolio.

"America's national security and economic stability are seriously threatened by the fact that we rely on other nations for 70 percent of our oil supply." Perry told the Clean Carbon Policy Summit and Project Expo, hosted by the Clean Coal Technology Foundation of Texas.

Perry said that to attain energy diversification, Texas must foster collaboration between government, industry and academia to promote clean coal as well as other alternative energy technologies.

"Texas is better at producing energy than anyone else in the United States, which is why we need to lead the charge on energy independence," the governor said. "As a matter of foreign and economic policy, our nation must reduce its dependence on foreign oil by building a deeper, more diverse energy portfolio. Working together, we'll keep the lights burning, the air conditioning blowing and the conveyor belts moving in factories all over the nation."

Texas is a leader in crude oil, refining and natural gas production, and wind energy production, but the governor said Texas must continue to expand alternative energy technologies, including nuclear, solar and clean coal.

He also warned against the ramifications of potential federal legislation regulating carbon without considering its impact on Texas and other oil-producing states. Gov. Perry opposes the proposed cap-and-trade measure which is essentially a tax on energy production and would create a disproportionate impact on Texas.

"Texas both produces and refines up to 25 percent of the nation's crude oil," Perry said. "These CO2 proposals moving through Congress would penalize Texas for fueling the rest of the nation. Congress needs to take the very serious implications of these proposals into consideration before it develops an ill-advised policy that will be the death knell for oil production in this country."

If implemented, it should at the very least include provisions that allow Texas to pass increased costs onto other states that rely on Texas' production of energy, goods and services, Perry added.

Texas currently leads the nation in installed wind energy capacity. In August, the Public Utility Commission approved a plan to connect more turbines to the energy grid and expand wind generation infrastructure. The plan will support installation of 18,456 megawatts of capacity - enough energy to power the annual needs of 4 million homes.

Perry noted that the state's solar energy infrastructure is also advancing, with the construction of solar generation facilities and work of semiconductor companies that are pioneering new products.

Gov. Perry also said Texas must continue to pursue nuclear energy as a proven source of clean, safe, predictable and competitively-priced energy. Texas has four proposed nuclear sites making their way through the lengthy federal permitting process; once built, those plants could produce an additional 9,000 megawatts of electricity, essentially tripling our state's nuclear capacity and contributing enough energy to power the annual needs of 5 million homes.

Perry said it is imperative that Texas continues to develop clean coal technology, adding that the state is already the leader in CO2 sequestration expertise thanks to years of enhanced oil recovery.