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Why Rick Perry Would Put the World on a Fast Track to Total Meltdown

From calling the BP disaster an "act of god" to responding to his state's drought with prayer, Perry's anti-environmental resume is extensive.

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It doesn’t end there. Perry has also worked to fast-track 11 dirty coal plants, has skewed transportation money to roads instead of mass transit, and has been suing the EPA over the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. The Texas League of Conservation Voters named Perry to its Dirty Dozen list, saying, “Rick Perry is one of 12 candidates for state office from around the country named to the list for his consistent stances against clean energy politics and conservation initiatives.” TLCV reported that in 2009 he “vetoed a bill passed by a Republican-controlled Legislature that would have required television manufacturers to recycle their product, keeping toxic heavy metals from reaching Texas landfills.” And in 2010:

Perry’s Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) dragged its feet on shuttering the highly polluting Asarco smelter in El Paso, and is green-lighting a toxic-waste dump near Odessa over the objections and resignation of agency staff.

Perry and his appointed commissioners at TCEQ have waged a legal and political war against the federal Environmental Protection Agency because it is finally requiring polluters in Texas to follow the same laws that all other 49 states are following.

Has he done anything green? Yes. Perry has helped solidify Texas as a leader in wind energy, and has also required that fracking companies disclose their toxic recipe of chemicals they pump underground (although apparently that is not because he's worried these chemicals will actually contaminate groundwater). Both of these are great, but pale in comparison to the rest of his environmental record. David Jenkins, government affairs director at Republicans for Environmental Protection, told the Union Leader, "Based on his crusade against the EPA and air quality measures and so forth as governor of Texas, it’s kind of hard to think he'd be someone who is in sync with our idea of conservation and environmental stewardship."

Probably the most disturbing thing on Perry’s anti-environmental resume, is this tidbit from the Union Leader:

Marc Morano, a former Sen. Jim Inhofe aide who now runs the ClimateDepot skeptic blog, called Perry the “complete package when it comes to energy and environmental issues.”

If someone gets a blessing from Swift Boater and Rush Limbaugh show producer/reporter  Morano, you can guarantee that is a person you wouldn’t want to be put in charge of making sure you have clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and a planet that isn’t on the fast track to total meltdown. 

Tara Lohan is a senior editor at AlterNet and editor of the new book Water Matters: Why We Need to Act Now to Save Our Most Critical Resource . You can follow her on Twitter @TaraLohan.