Rick Perry: The right choice for Energy, the right choice for job creators
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As President TrumpDonald TrumpWarren says Republican party 'eating itself and it is discovering that the meal is poisonous' More than 75 Asian, LGBTQ groups oppose anti-Asian crime bill McConnell says he's 'great admirer' of Liz Cheney but mum on her removal MORE concludes his first weeks in office, one thing is clear: his Cabinet members are expected to effectively deliver on a pro-growth agenda that was promised to millions of Americans.

Steven Mnuchin at the helm of Treasury and Wilbur Ross leading the Commerce Department will work in tandem to reform our tax code and alleviate some of the burdensome regulations endured by American businesses in recent years. Linda McMahon at the Small Business Administration will serve as the voice of small business, helping American enterprises with access to capital. Now, we anticipate the leadership of former Texas Gov. Rick PerryRick PerryTomorrow's special election in Texas is the Democrats' best House hope in 2021 Overnight Energy: Michigan reps reintroduce measure for national 'forever chemicals' standard |  White House says gas tax won't be part of infrastructure bill Trump alumni launch America First Policy Institute MORE, as he is set to join the cabinet as secretary of Energy.

The Department of Energy’s top post is important to a Chamber of Commerce because energy is typically the greatest expense for business, second only to labor. In addition, this sector provides a tremendous number of contracting opportunities for our small and medium-sized businesses across the country.

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Our organization advocates on behalf of more than 4 million Hispanic-owned firms, which collectively contribute more than $668 billion to our American economy every year. From mom and pop shops to multibillion-dollar enterprises, it is this rich diversity that makes our story an American story.

 

Our members pride themselves on being American businessmen and -women first. We take great pride in the products and services we bring to market and the jobs we create. Both private and public sectors must work together to navigate the challenges and opportunities of a veritable “Energy Renaissance.”

According to the American Petroleum Institute (API), the United States is the world’s leading producer of oil and natural gas, as well as the leading refiner of fuels and petrochemicals due to American innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. It’s critical we have a firm and steady hand with the necessary experience to fully understand the landscape associated with this critical sector.

Our association advocates for an all-inclusive energy strategy, and we fully understand that “energy” isn’t just oil and gas. While important, there are various other resources, including wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and nuclear power. All play an important role in ensuring our nation’s energy independence. 

Perry understands this, and promoted sensible clean energy options during his tenure. In fact, Texas is now the largest wind power producer in the country. His approach has proven that a strong economy and environmental stewardship are not mutually exclusive.

Energy provides the very underpinnings of our economy, and also provides disenfranchised communities with opportunities for economic growth and stability. According to a study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the industry supports 9.8 million jobs, or over 5 percent of total U.S. employment. One could safely say the energy sector helps keep the lights on for millions of Americans.

In Rick Perry, we find someone who understands the challenges facing small business and is an enemy of red tape. Perry has a proven record of cutting taxes and increasing energy production.

According to the API’s 2017 State of America Energy Report, “the oil and natural gas industry contributes about $70 million a day, on average, to the federal government in revenue from taxes, rents and royalties,” and the best way to continue to increase revenues beneficial to the country is to increase production, not taxes.

Throughout the governor’s tenure he has stayed true to that model. In fact, the U.S. Energy Information Administration states that from 2000 to 2015, under Perry’s leadership, energy production in Texas grew by over 180 percent, lowing energy costs for Texans and increasing tax revenues for the state. 

We are confident that as the secretary of Energy, the governor can duplicate this model on the federal level. 

Perry knows that burdensome regulations coming out of Washington often serve as more of an impediment to growth than an economic stimulus. In Texas, he enacted policies that rewarded entrepreneurs, or as he refers to our community, the job creators. In Perry, we witnessed a man who spurred job growth and kept the economic engine of Texas pumping at full throttle, while most states grappled with the latest big recession. He even recruited more than 50 of the Fortune 500 corporations to relocate their headquarters to his state.

It is no wonder that voters in the Lone Star State sent him back to the governor’s mansion on three separate occasions. 

The Department of Energy’s mission is to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions. With the governor’s knowledge and experience in this arena, we believe he is a qualified candidate to serve as secretary of Energy.

We at the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce hope for a smooth confirmation and look forward to working with him to keep powering America’s business future.

 

Javier Palomarez is president and CEO of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and is an adviser on President Trump's National Diversity Coalition.


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