Infographic: Obama vs. Perry on Energy

By Matthew Wheeland - September 21, 2011


Infographic: Obama vs. Perry on Energy

Obama vs. Perry on Energy: A Quick Look at their Energy Records

As the race for 2012 heats up, so does the debate over energy in America. So how do the right and left stack up? We take a look at Gov. Rick Perry and President Barack Obama’s stances on several energy issues.

Overriding Themes

President Barack Obama:

  • Known for aggressive clean energy goals.
  • Includes nuclear power and natural gas as “clean energy.”
  • Emphasizes clean energy’s job creation potential.
Governor Rick Perry:
  • Emphasizes energy diversification.
  • Rails against federal oversight.
  • Fossil fuel industries are a fan of him.

Natural Gas

President Barack Obama:

  • Fairly pro-natural gas, especially for transportation.
  • Recently formed a panel to identify ways to improve the safety and environmental impact of fracking.
  • Sees natural gas as a part of meeting energy goals by 2035, but has noted concerns about pollution.
Governor Rick Perry:
  • Strong supporter of fracking.
  • Presided over a natural gas boom in Texas, with state production increasing 28 percent between 2000 and 2010.
  • Signed a bill requiring disclosure of chemicals used in fracking.


President Barack Obama:

  • Set an aggressive goal to get 80 percent of electricity from clean energy by 2035. Counts nuclear, natural gas, and “clean coal” as clean.
  • Highlights clean energy’s ability to create jobs and stimulate the U.S. economy.
  • Has backed commercial-scale solar projects on public lands.
Governor Rick Perry
  • Strong supporter of wind energy, he has done much to advance it in Texas.
  • New wind power projects will add $5 a month to Texans’ electric bills.
  • Has not supported non-wind renewables, like solar.


President Barack Obama

  • Has budgeted billions for carbon emissions storage technology—seen as key to “clean coal.”
  • Track record of being tough on coal fired plant emissions, but recently repealed one key EPA regulation on smog, saying it created too heavy a financial burden for industry.
Governor Rick Perry:
  • Supports and believes in the concept of “clean coal.”
  • Issued executive order for rapid approval of coal plant permits.


President Barack Obama:

  • Unveiled a plan to cut America’s oil imports by a third within a decade.
  • Proposed Keystone Pipeline considered a key environmental test.
  • Believes cutting dependence on foreign oil is a matter of national security.
Governor Rick Perry:
  • Has maintained Texas’ low-tax, low-regulation environment for oil.
  • Called for end to Obama’s moratorium on new deepwater drilling projects.


“As we recover from this recession, the transition to clean energy has the potential to grow our economy and create millions of jobs—but only if we accelerate that transition. Only if we seize the moment.” -President Obama

“Truth of the matter is, America needs all the innovation we can muster to reduce our dependency on foreign sources of energy. And again, our combination of job creation and improved air quality here in Texas proves that there’s a way it can be done, the Texas way.” -Governor Perry


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