Rick Perry Says His Energy Plan Will Create 1.2 Million Jobs

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On Friday, the Texas governor will unveil a set of proposals to spur economic growth by rolling back regulations and promoting U.S. oil production

Perry in FL - Chris Carlson AP - banner.jpg

PITTSBURGH -- Rick Perry will pledge Friday to create 1.2 million jobs and reduce dependence on foreign oil by rolling back environmental regulations and expanding oil and gas exploration.

"The choice this election is between two very different visions for our country," Perry will say Friday, according to excerpts of his remarks provided by the campaign. "When it comes to energy, the President would kill domestic jobs through aggressive regulations while I would unleash 1.2 million American jobs through safe and aggressive energy exploration at home."

One of the GOP presidential candidate's more controversial proposals will be to tap the Marcellus Shale, a massive gas reserve in Appalachia that many environmentalists warn could permanently pollute groundwater if exploited for energy. The proposal may receive a positive reception at the site of Perry's speech: a steel plant in West Mifflin, Pa., a suburb of Pittsburgh. The region has lost thousands of steel jobs and could stand to benefit from the 250,000 jobs that the Texas governor says would be created by tapping the reserve.

"Natural gas exploration is a game-changer that can bring new opportunities to replace the ones that have been lost," Perry will say. "Development of natural gas will create jobs in the supply chain and lead to lower energy costs for manufacturers."

Though he is a critic of government overreach, Perry plans to tell his audience here that he will use unilateral authority through executive orders to put his energy and jobs programs into place. He describes these as the first steps of a plan to grow jobs but he has not yet said what the other steps might involve.

The Texas governor had been previewing his energy message all week as it comprised the bulk of his talking points at both an economic debate at Dartmouth University on Tuesday and a speech to the Indianapolis GOP the next day. He previewed more details of the plan in an op-ed in the New Hampshire Union Leader earlier this week.

Perry will speak at 10:30 a.m. at the United States Steel Mon Valley Works Irvin Plant.

Image credit: Chris Carlson/AP

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Rebecca Kaplan is a staff writer (White House) for National Journal.

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