Perry will export our energy success

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New Energy Secretary will help entire industry, national economy

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The confirmation of former Texas Governor Rick Perry as Secretary of Energy should help all areas of the energy industry.

Perry presided over Texas for 14 years while the energy sector boomed, diversified and lessened our dependence on foreign oil.

During his tenure as governor, the Texas economy steamed along while other state economies were stuck in low gear, particularly during the recession. Of course, oil was a big part of that and it remains the backbone of the Lone Star State economy, even though the tech industry made gains over the past several decades.

Perry can bring an appreciation for this state’s multi-faceted energy industry to a national scene. While oil is still the big dog in our energy portfolio, under Perry, natural gas, wind and solar made huge gains.

Advancements in natural gas use in clean-burning vehicles have been rapid and can be part of the answer toward lessening our dependence on foreign oil. Hydraulic fracturing has made this easier to capture.

Windmills in the Texas “Big Country” corridor from the Panhandle to the Hill Country are still popping up. The middle of America and its constant breezes is sometimes called “the Saudi Arabia of Wind.”

Solar is rapidly gaining in efficiency and price point. Technology improvements, such as windows and roof tiles that collect solar energy, will allow office buildings and homes to power themselves in the not-too-distant future.

But these technologies are still not to the point where they can replace oil. Advances introduced by the late George P. Mitchell, including fracking and horizontal drilling, increased the efficiency of the oil-gathering process.

As T. Boone Pickens wrote recently for Texas Monthly, “remember that energy markets are not free markets.”

Many governments around the world subsidize oil production, and the U.S. uses its military to protect oil interests around the globe. That costs U.S. taxpayers in both blood and money. “The true cost of imported oil is not reflected at the pump,” Pickens wrote.

 

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