How Much of Rick Perry's Secret Energy Plan Will Be Revealed Today?

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The Texas governor has promised to explain, by the end of the week, how he'll create more than a million jobs and achieve energy independence

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As observers pilloried Rick Perry's Tuesday debate performance, I turned to a transcript of the event to see if anything of substance was obscured by his lethargy and stammering delivery. Oh boy.

Perry begins by touting a "pretty bold plan":

...to put 1.2 million Americans working in the energy industry. And you don't need Congress to do that.You need a president with a plan, which I'm laying out over the next three days, and, clearly, the intent to open up this treasure trove that America's sitting on and getting America independent on the domestic energy side. It's time for another American Declaration of Independence.

It's time for energy independence.

He later notes:

A president, particularly with the plan that I'm going to be laying out over the next three days... we're going to be focused on initially the energy industry in this country and making a America again independent, and clearly the place where domestic energy needs to be produced from.

And then the kicker:

What we need to be focused on in this country today is not whether or not we are going to have this policy or that policy.  What we need to be focused on is how we get American working again... And let me tell you, we are sitting on this absolute treasure trove of energy in this country.  And I don't need 9-9-9.  We don't need any plan to pass Congress.  We need to get a president of the United States that is committed to passing the types of regulations, pulling the regulations back, freeing this country to go develop the energy industry.

Let's sum this up.
The Green Report
The United States imports roughly ten million barrels of crude oil per day. Over the next three days, Perry has promised to explain how, if elected, he would quickly 1) put 1.2 million Americans to work; 2) achieve energy independence! A policy proposal that accomplished all that would be quite a trick. But we're in for something even more amazing. Unlike other politicians, who just don't get it, Perry isn't going to focus on the policy we should implement, he's just going to get Americans working again -- the energy independence he's going to achieve, in the course of putting millions to work, won't require an act of Congress, just a president who wants it badly enough.

It's so simple. (But complicated enough that it's going to take three days to lay out.) He'll just pull back some regulations, and poof, 1.2 million jobs created and energy independence. It's no wonder he appeared not to care about the outcome of the debate: he's got John Galt's motor!

Or else he's two days away from a broken promise.


Image credit: Reuters
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Conor Friedersdorf is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs. He lives in Venice, California, and is the founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.

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