Texas Governor Rick Perry says aggressive extraction of energy sources like oil and natural gas is the best way to improve both the national and Mississippi economy. Perry spoke at a summit in Jackson focused on the future of energy.
Often sounding as though he was delivering a presidential campaign stump speech, Perry says the country needs stronger leadership with more support for the expansion of oil and gas drilling.
Perry specifically cited accelerating the use of hydraulic fracturing around the country which has helped turn the US into the world's leading natural gas producer.
"The Utica Shale is in play in Ohio. The Haynesville in Arkansas. And even the Tuscaloosa Marine shell right here in Mississippi will, in time, improve the economy locally as well as nationally," Perry said.
Perry called for the completion of the Keystone XL pipeline to bring oil from Canada.
The three term Governor criticized recent EPA carbon regulations and other government rules for slowing the growth of energy production which he says jeopardizing national security.
"Energy is a weapon in the hands of aggressors. So, here's what I say. If energy is going to be used as a weapon America needs to have the largest arsenal," Perry said.
This is the third year that Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has organized the summit.
Bryant says a tax cut for gas drillers passed in 2013 has drawn more hydraulic fracturing to southwest Mississippi.
"We think we can have 1500 wells drilled there with 9 thousand employees," Bryant said.
However expanded fossil fuel drilling is controversial, with groups warning it is not worth the environmental damage and it's contribution to global climate change.