Fact Check: Perry’s energy-related claims at the debate


WASHINGTON — When Mitt Romney and Rick Perry thumped their chests over their job-creation records as governor during the Republican presidential debate Wednesday night, they left the bad parts out.

A look at two of the claims in the debate that deal with energy, and how they compare with the facts:


PERRY: On global warming, “The science is not settled on this. The idea that we would put Americans’ economy at jeopardy based on scientific theory that’s not settled yet, to me, is just, is nonsense. … Find out what the science truly is before you start putting the American economy in jeopardy.”

THE FACTS: The scientific consensus on climate change is about as settled as any major scientific issue can be. Perry’s opinion runs counter to the view of an overwhelming majority of scientists that pollution released from the burning of fossil fuels is heating up the planet. The National Academy of Sciences, in an investigation requested by Congress, concluded last year: “Climate change is occurring, is very likely caused primarily by human activities, and poses significant risks to humans and the environment.”


PERRY: “What I find compelling is what we’ve done in the state of Texas, using our ability to regulate our clean air. We cleaned up our air in the state of Texas, more than any other state in the nation during the decade.” He specifically mentioned successes in reducing nitrous oxide emissions by 58 percent and ozone levels by 27 percent.

THE FACTS: Texas has reduced emissions as Perry described, but most of those reductions were required under the federal Clean Air Act. However, the Environmental Protection Agency recently rescinded the state’s authority to grant some air pollution permits because the state did not comply with federal regulations. Texas, home to America’s oil and gas industry, still emits more carbon dioxide — the chief greenhouse gas — than any other state in the country, according to government data. Several metropolitan areas in Texas still violate health-based limits for smog, and the county that is home to Houston is one of the biggest emitters of hazardous air pollution in the country. The Texas Legislature also passed, and Perry signed, a law that will delay enforcing stiffer clean air regulations by two years.

Associated Press

4 Responses

  1. Lyn B says:

    The Oregon Petition is a joke and just what kind of scientist are you? Certainly not a climatologist..


  2. Houston says:

    I’m a scientist and I don’t agree that pollution from the burning of fossil fuels is heating up the planet. the 31,000 American scientists who have signed the petition at http://www.petitionproject.org/ also disagree. I guess we weren’t there the day the scientific community voted on a “consensus”.

  3. Bill744 says:

    Keep your pants on. First of all, that research has nothing to do with solar cosmic rays, and therefor nothing to do with Solar Max and Solar Min. That’s a non-starter and shows a careless reading of the research.

    Further, the lead author of the paper that published CERN research wrote, “[The paper] actually says nothing about a possible cosmic-ray effect on clouds and climate, but it’s a very important first step.”

    The GCR assertion does nothing to challenge the conclusions of research conducted since Arrhenius that a doubling of CO2 levels would have a positive influence on global average temperature, now estimated to be between 2.5C and 4C.

    If the GCR assertion is validated by further research, it only strengthens the argument for elimination of anthropogenic carbon emissions and even sequestration. It’s either the case that we’re in trouble or we’re in deep trouble.

  4. thackney says:

    AP needs to fact check themselves. The man-made Global Warming scam is just about over.

    CERN experiment confirms cosmic ray action
    The global warmists’ dam breaks

    Indirect Solar Forcing of Climate by Galactic Cosmic Rays

    While I have been skeptical of Svensmark’s cosmic ray theory up until now, it looks like the evidence is becoming too strong for me to ignore. The following results will surely be controversial, and the reader should remember that what follows is not peer reviewed, and is only a preliminary estimate.

    I’ve made calculations based upon satellite observations of how the global radiative energy balance has varied over the last 10 years (between Solar Max and Solar Min) as a result of variations in cosmic ray activity. The results suggest that the total (direct + indirect) solar forcing is at least 3.5 times stronger than that due to changing solar irradiance alone.

    If this is anywhere close to being correct, it supports the claim that the sun has a much larger potential role (and therefore humans a smaller role) in climate change than what the “scientific consensus” states.