Perry @ Manufacturers’ forum asked about ethanol

Texas Governor Rick Perry was the first GOP presidential candidate to get their 15 minutes in the spotlight at the National Association of Manufacturers forum in Pella this morning.  Perry began by touting his promise to sign executive orders that would open U.S. energy reserves to exploration.  “Getting Americans to work almost immediately is my goal and I’ve got a pretty good record of that,” he said. 

Perry said he would “pull back all these (govt) regulations since 2008” — that would be the last year of the Bush administration — to save manufacturers and businesses in general “a substantial amount of money” now spent complying with those regulations.

A follow-up question noted Whirlpool had cited consumer demand in its recent job cuts, not regulations.  “People have lost confidence that they can go and risk their capital,” Perry said, accusing the Obama administration of sending a “clear message that they do not believe” in the free market.

“We know that doesn’t work,” he said. “The way you create jobs is by not over-taxing, over-regulating or over-litigating.”

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, one of the moderators of the forum, asked about extending the federal wind power tax credit for four more years, plus retaining the renewable energy standard.  “The federal government needs to be completely out of the energy business, picking winners and losers,” Perry said, mentioning specifically “oil and gas, ethanol.”

Perry said it was “fine” if states want to offer such incentives. “If states want to compete against each other, that is a correct and proper role for the state,” Perry said. “…I do not believe that the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. ought to be picking winners and losers…in any industry.”

Should the federal government provide tax incentives for research & development?

“R&D is one place where I would allow it,” Perry said, before adding criticism of the Solyndra grant. “$535 million to some solar company just because they’ve got a good lobbyist that can get ’em in the White House — that’s nuts,” Perry said.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.