Perry calls for 'energy shield' to protect allies

Texas Gov. Rick PerryRick PerryMellman: The 'lane theory' is the wrong lane to be in Overnight Energy: Critics call EPA air guidance 'an industry dream' | New Energy secretary says Trump wants to boost coal | EPA looks to speed approval of disputed industry pollution permits Don't count out Michael Bloomberg — his unconventional strategy might work MORE (R) said the U.S. needs to "build an energy shield to protect our strategic allies," ripping the Obama administration for doing too little to counter Russia's aggressive use of energy as a diplomatic weapon.

"With the natural gas we now produce, we can help liberate our European allies from Russian energy aggression," Perry said during a speech Thursday night at a summit hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

"Energy is a weapon in the hands of aggressors. So I say, if energy is going to be used as a weapon, America should always have the largest arsenal," he said.

ADVERTISEMENT
Perry argued the U.S. oil and natural gas boom can eliminate dependence on "states that control massive sources of energy."

He added that the U.S. would not use its energy resources to "bully" other countries however, but to set allies "free."

The possible 2016 presidential candidate said the U.S. oil and gas boom has created "limitless" possibilities, but "it takes a president with vision" to get things done.

"America has the potential to pioneer a new frontier," Perry said, referencing the growing shale gas fields in Texas and other states. 

"We only need a president with the leadership to blaze this new trail," he added.

Perry also scolded the administration for delaying approval of the Keystone XL pipeline during his speech, and argued that the president should work with Congress to pass a comprehensive energy plan.