AUSTIN, Texas -- Gov. Rick Perry said federal regulation of carbon-dioxide emissions would be "absolutely economically disastrous" for energy-rich Texas, one of the few parts of the country still adding jobs.
The Republican's views are increasingly at odds with those of the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama, whose energy and environment appointees favor using the power of the federal government to cut emissions of greenhouse gases, so called because they trap the sun's heat in the atmosphere and contribute to global warming.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has taken an increasingly public stance opposing federal greenhouse-gas regulation.
"If you put that type of regulation in place in America, it will stifle innovation and strangle the American economy," Gov. Perry said during an interview in his office, where his cowboy hat sits on a bust of George Washington.
As he stakes out his role as a high-profile dissenter on carbon legislation, Gov. Perry is leading a state that is changing. His opposition to federal cap-and-trade legislation to limit emissions plays well with Texas' traditional business community and many large campaign contributors; Texas is far and away the top carbon-dioxide-emitting state and largest coal consumer.
But the state also has a growing renewable-energy industry. Texas has almost twice as much electrical generating capacity from wind turbines as second-place state, California, and far more than others.
Some statehouse observers see in Gov. Perry's opposition to Washington regulations a shrewd political calculation. He is positioning himself as an outside-the-Beltway voice as he prepares for an anticipated, bruising political challenge from U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. She is widely expected to run for the governor's mansion in 2010. Her spokesman declined to comment.
Monday, Governor Perry went on air with radio personalities Mark Davis and Michael Berry.
On the Mark Davis program, the Governor addressed some of the rumors about his future plans (he stated emphatically that he is running for reelection) and discussed several of the bills he signed and vetoed after the 81st legislative session.
On the Michael Berry program, the Governor spoke further about the bills he signed or vetoed, the "chubbing" of a ballot integrity measure by activist liberals in the legislature, and his plans for the future.
In both interviews, the Governor noted the many successes of the legislative session, including a balanced budget, a projected $9 billion surplus in the Rainy Day Fund, a solution for windstorm insurance along the coast, a tax cut for more than 40,000 small businesses, and putting a Constitutional Amendment on the ballot to prevent future Kelo-like private property rights abuses in Texas.
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