Perry: ‘Travesty’ That U.S. Energy Security Is ‘Tied to a Nation That Hates Us’

By Fred Lucas | January 18, 2012 | 4:52am EST

Republican presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, arrives at Business Speaks, a business and economic forum hosted by the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, in Columbia, S.C., Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Columbia, S.C. (CNSNews.com) – Iran’s threat to close a strategic waterway highlights the need for America to boost its domestic energy exploration, said Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican presidential hopeful.

As president, Perry said he would expand exploration, but also said he favored getting rid of special subsides for the energy industry, preferring a free-market approach.

“Through a series of executive orders and actions, I want to open up energy exploration on federal lands and federal waters,” Perry said Tuesday at a presidential candidate forum sponsored by the South Carolina Business and Industrial Political Education Committee.

“It is a travesty, as Iran threatens to close the Strait of Hormuz, that our energy and economic security is so tied to a nation that hates us, that will do us harm,” Perry said.

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Iran’s recent threat to close the Strait of Hormuz has prompted concerns of military conflict and increasing oil prices. Hormuz is a transit route for nearly one-fifth of the world’s energy resources. Thus a disruption could affect global oil prices.

Iran made the threat in response to U.S. and international sanctions, imposed to halt its nuclear program. Most Western countries believe Iran is using its nuclear energy program to secretly develop a nuclear bomb.

Perry said part of his free-market approach to energy would be to end all federal subsidies and tax credits to the energy industries, although he does not oppose individual states offering such benefits to companies as a means of competition with one another.

“I am an all-of-the-above energy individual,” Perry said. “I don’t think Washington, D.C., needs to pick winners and losers. I want to do away with all tax credits and subsidies for the energy industry, regardless of where they would be. Whether it’s the traditional oil and gas industry, whether it’s solar, whether it’s wind, hyrdo or whatever that source of energy is. The market will decide the winners and the losers.”

Perry trails among the five remaining GOP contenders heading into South Carolina’s Jan. 21 primary.

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