by Antonio Garza
For more than 30 years, Rick Perry has served as a dedicated public servant in the great state of Texas. In my former positions as Texas secretary of state, Texas railroad commissioner — overseeing the state’s energy sector — and as the U.S. ambassador to Mexico under President George W. Bush, I have worked closely with Gov. Perry on developing Texas’ energy sector and a variety of other issues.
I could not be more confident in his exceptional leadership and his qualifications for the position of U.S. secretary of energy.
As governor of Texas, Rick Perry’s successful tenure stemmed from his dogged focus on job creation. Following the 2008-09 financial crisis, Texas created more jobs than any other state, due in part to Rick Perry’s decision to back the development of all energy sources in Texas, from shale gas to wind power. In particular, his support of Texas’ shale production helped set the foundation that pumped investment into the state and spurred the recent job boom. The positive effects of this energy portfolio diversification also spilled over to consumers, ensuring that they paid less at the pump and on their electricity bills.
The size of Texas’ energy sector — which Rick Perry’s leadership helped develop further — cannot be overstated. In 2014, Texas contributed more than 30 percent of the United States total oil production and roughly 24 percent of its natural gas. Texas leads all 50 states and nearly every single sovereign nation in producing wind power. Texas also has been on the forefront of global energy shifts — leading today’s charge to reverse liquefied natural gas terminals and send Texas’ natural gas abroad. Thanks to Gov. Perry’s leadership, Texas led the American energy revolution and has helped to reduce our dependence on less stable foreign oil.
As secretary of energy, Rick Perry will be an advocate for the “all of the above” energy approach, which aims to unleash the full potential of America’s energy development. Gov. Perry has been at the forefront of deploying Texas energy potential and market ingenuity to boost the state’s economic position in North America. I have no doubt that he will do the same for the United States. The best way to jump-start our economy is to develop U.S. energy sources, and Rick Perry is already embracing this sentiment to get Americans back to work.
Given his record in Texas, Rick Perry has also shown that developing our energy sources can be achieved while simultaneously protecting the United States’ air, soil and water. From 2000 to 2011, Texas reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 65 million metric tons. And from 2000 to 2013, it slashed its nitrogen oxide levels by 62.5 percent. This all took place as Texas’ population increased by 6 million and the state led the country in job creation. Gov. Perry also signed a first-of-its-kind energy transparency law, which required the public disclosure of all fluids used in fracking.
During his time as governor, Gov. Perry has ensured Texas’ central role as a North American energy hub, strengthening the United States’ economy and national security. He understands that U.S. energy production, along with our integrated energy systems with Canada and Mexico, have served us well and provide a buffer from dependence on more volatile and less friendly countries.
It is this understanding and commitment to using U.S. energy resources for furthering our interests that will help make Rick Perry a successful and effective U.S. secretary of energy.
Antonio Garza was U.S. ambassador to Mexico between 2002-2009, and was presented the “Aguila Azteca,” Mexico’s highest award bestowed on a foreign national.