As the results of the Iowa straw poll started to separate the potential presidential candidates from the hopeless ones, Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) announced his intentions to not only run for president, but to lead the pack of presidential hopefuls in extreme anti-environment rhetoric and vocal denial of settled climate science.
Gov. Perry is one of the best-funded politicians in history, in no small part due to Big Oil's funding. Since 1998, the Texas governor has raked in nearly $117,091,642 in campaign contributions -- with over $11 million of those funds coming from Big Oil.
In addition to Perry being Big Oil's $11 million man, corporate polluters have so far received a significant return on their investment in Rick Perry, with the newly anointed candidate doing their bidding and repeating pro-polluter talking points at every opportunity.
The Washington Post examined Perry's environmental record and found that Perry:
- Is a climate science denier who refuses to believe that human-caused climate change is occurring,
- Filed a lawsuit against the EPA's carbon pollution regulations,
- Opposed the Obama administration's efforts to regulate offshore oil drilling in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (which he called an "act of God"),
- Fast-tracked permits for new coal plants, cutting the normal review period in half, and
- Refused to compete for federal high-speed rail funding.
Perry goes above and beyond simply denying settled climate science; he has referred to it as "a contrived phony mess" and that climate scientists are part of a "secular carbon cult". Talk about conspiracy theories!
And Perry makes clear that he would take down every environmental and public health protection implemented in our nation if given the chance. One of the first policy positions he's asserted since announcing his candidacy is to call for a "moratorium on all regulations," including EPA safeguards meant to protect the air we breathe and water we drink.
Not altogether surprising considering who's been funding his political career thus far, and it looks like Perry will continue to count dirty energy interests as some of his most loyal campaign contributors during his presidential campaign -- the governor's first stop in New Hampshire was at the Energy Freedom Family Festival in Manchester, an event sponsored by none other than the American Petroleum Institute.
We're predicting there will be plenty of jostling to be the most anti-environment, anti-science candidate with the addition of this Texas governor to the pool of presidential hopefuls. More to come.