Speaking at a campaign stop in his home state Monday, Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry announced his intentions to make the Environmental Protection Agency unapologetically pro-pollution.
His remarks were reported by the Houston Chronicle:
“I’ll tell you one thing: The EPA officials we have an opportunity to put in place, they’re going to be pro-business, and there’s not going to be any apologies to anybody about it,” he said. “Those agencies won’t know what hit ‘em.”
It’s not hard to see why Perry would want environmental regulations to be crafted by polluters, considering that he’s taken $11 million from the oil and gas industry since 1998. Meanwhile, Perry has stepped up his attacks on climate science by falsely claiming that researchers manipulated data for money.
Perry attended the town hall meeting shortly before surveying the damage from a catastrophic wildfire in central Texas. The fire was strengthened by winds from Tropical Storm Lee and a record-shattering drought in the state — two factors that climatologists agree will get worse as the world continues to warm. Wildfires have already burned a land area the size of Connecticut in the state this year.
One Texas-based climatologist recently explained that “it’s likely that much of Texas will still be in a severe drought this time next summer.” Indeed, there is still no rainfall expected for the state.
Perry’s response to the disasters has been to pray for rain and to pray away successful water and air quality standards. Since neither of those strategies worked, he’s decided that stacking the EPA with pro-business officials is the easiest way to tear down decades of successful environmental regulation.