As I noted in last week’s column, the Sierra Club and other environmental activist groups are urging New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) to sign a bill passed by the heavily Democratic New Jersey legislature that would ban shale gas production in the state. Environmental activist groups similarly protest oil and gas production in every other state, as well as on federal lands where energy production could create valuable jobs and earn the federal government much-needed revenues while simultaneously relieving prices at the pump. What sets North Dakota and Texas apart from many other states (and the federal government) is political leaders who will courageously endure heated criticism from environmental activist groups in order to provide jobs and a healthy economy for state residents.
Which brings us back to Perry. The Texas economy is reaping the benefits of energy production not just because Texas, like many other states, has access to abundant oil and natural gas reserves. Rather, the Texas economy is reaping the benefits of energy production because Rick Perry and other state government officials are encouraging rather than stifling energy production.
In states like New Jersey, the legislature supports an outright ban on shale gas production. Other states seek to tax and regulate energy production to a crawl. In North Dakota and Texas, however, leaders like Rick Perry have had the foresight to encourage rather than vilify energy production.