After a month of fending off attacks on multiple fronts, Rick Perry went on offence for the first time in a month today, unveiling an economic-cum-energy policy plan he promises will create 1.2 million American jobs.Perry emerged from the shadows to blitz the morning shows before delivering his speech before a crowd of hard-hat wearing factory workers at a U.S. Steel plant in Pittsburgh. The plan, Perry’s first domestic policy proposal since entering the race, focuses largely on energy policy, although the Texas Governor pledges it will create jobs across other economic sectors as well.
Although Pittsburgh isn’t typically thought of as a “Drill-Baby-Drill” kind of city, the location of the speech is particularly politically astute. The Rust Belt was hit hard by the financial crisis, and has pinned its hopes on the emerging energy sector, booming with the discovery of the Marcellus Shale. Perry’s plan to “end the Obama Administration’s hostility towards coal and natural gas” will play very well with voters in this swing state region.
The offensive move comes after four dismal debate performances that have led some political-watchers to write his campaign off as DOA. Clearly aware of his poor impromptu speaking skills, Perry delivered his remarks today off of a teleprompter — a move that is sure to draw the ire and derision of many conservatives.
Here are the basics:
- Begin off-shore drilling in Alaska and push Congress to open ANWR for oil exploration.
- “Resume pre-Obama levels of exploration” in the Gulf of Mexico (Note: exploration in the Gulf of Mexico is actually at near-record levels, according to WSJ)
- Open federal lands for energy exploration and use revenues to reduce the deficit.
- “Dismantle” the EPA and let states set their own air and water standards.
- Eliminate subsidies and tax credits that “distort the energy marketplace” but preserve tax incentives for R&D.
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