Rick Perry Archives - Shopfloor

Note to California: Companies are Mobile, React to Taxes, Regs

By | Economy, Energy, Regulations, Taxation | No Comments

More coverage of California’s economic woes, some inspired by the recent fact-finding, waking-up-call trip of legislators to Texas…

John Fund, Wall Street Journal, “California Dreamin’—of Jobs in Texas“:

Andy Puzder, the CEO of Hardee’s Restaurants, was one of many witnesses to bemoan California’s hostile regulatory climate. He said it takes six months to two years to secure permits to build a new Carl’s Jr. restaurant in the Golden State, versus the six weeks it takes in Texas. California is also one of only three states that demands overtime pay after an eight-hour day, rather than after a 40-hour week. Such rules wreak havoc on flexible work schedules based on actual need. If there’s a line out the door at a Carl’s Jr. while employees are seen resting, it’s because they aren’t allowed to help: Break time is mandatory.

“You can’t build in California, you can’t manage in California and you have to pay a big tax,” Mr. Puzder told the legislators. “In Texas, it’s the opposite—which is why we’re building 300 new stores there this year.”

Carl Guardino, CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, which represents more than 345 Silicon Valley chief executives, writes a Viewpoints column for The Sacramento Bee, “We should listen, learn from Texas.”

Last Friday, Fujitsu announced it was pulling out its entire California operation to move to another state. In the first 70 business days of 2011 – Jan. 1 through April 15 – 70 companies have left the Golden State. One company exits the state every business day.

Fourteen of the 70 have moved to Texas. Before readers draw the conclusion that companies solely leave for “low-cost states,” consider this – Fujitsu selected New York.

While such departures garner headlines and hand-wringing, these are the corporate losses – along with the loss in jobs and taxes – that are seen. The bigger threat – the reality I see and hear on almost a daily basis – is the thousands of jobs California companies choose not to develop in California when expansion and growth decisions are made. They represent the larger part of the iceberg that lurks well below the surface.

The Silicon Valley trade association has issued a white paper, “Policy Recommendations to Create CA Manufacturing Jobs,” that lists a series of “game changers” for adoption by legislative or administrative action. It’s a valuable contribution to the policy debates: California can indeed take a different path.

In The American Spectator, economist  Ron Ross writes, “California Descends Deeper Into Self-Destruction“:

The latest, all too typical, example is a law signed by Governor Jerry Brown last week mandating new renewable energy requirements for electric utilities in the state. The new law requires that 33 percent of electricity generated be done with “renewable” sources, essentially wind mills and solar panels, by the end of the year 2020. What’s the objective of this “ambitious” new regulation?…. Read More

Gov. Perry: Along with Oil, Wind and Nuclear

By | Energy | One Comment

To round out Gov. Perry’s comments Friday about oil prices and domestic energy supply, we note that in addition to oil production, he wants an “an all of the above” approach toward domestic production.

People think about Texas and they think, oh yeah, big oil and gas country. Yeah, we are, and we’re very pleased to be the home to that, but we’re also home to more wind energy produced than any other state in the nation, because we’ve focused on expanding our portfolio. I personally would be very, very positively inclined to expand our nuclear energy ability. I think we have three plants permitted now in Texas, nuclear plants, with three more in some type, some place of the permitting process.

We’re going to need it all. I’m an all of the above energy advocate – with the notable exception of corn-based ethanol, one of the great political scams and economic scams of the 20th Century.

Judging by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s coverage of his comments, the Governor has said similar things about ethanol before: “Also in the interview, Perry talked up other energy sources including wind and nuclear but repeated his disdain for corn-based ethanol.”

The sound file of his comments above is here.

UPDATE (9:30 a.m.): In “Gov. Rick Perry’s dream: Make the federal government as innocuous as possible,” Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post’s Right Turn blog wraps up the Governor’s remarks, putting his philosophical opposition to an overreaching federal government in a political and campaign context.

Texas Gov. Perry: ‘I Don’t Want National Tort Reform’

By | Briefly Legal, General, Health Care | One Comment

During his briefing with bloggers today, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas repeatedly turned to the federalism and the 10th Amendment of the Constitution as core principles informing his approach toward domestic policy issues. Let states like Maryland or California experiment with high taxes or more regulations while Texas does the opposite, he argued. The American people can choose where they prefer to live.

We noted that several conservative Republicans on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee had expressed opposition to H.R. 5, the medical liability reform bill, on just those grounds.

“I don’t want national tort reform,” Perry said forcefully.

Let me tell you why. We have medical tort reform in the state of Texas. It works. We are a haven.  Twenty-six thousand doctors have applied to practice medicine in Texas since 2003 when our tort reform became the law in Texas. Here’s what disturbs me: If they pass a national bill, I would bet you dollars to donuts, it is weaker than what we’ve got in Texas. So our physicians would be in a less favorable position from the standpoint of protection from frivolous lawsuits. …

I don’t ever get confused that this issue’s about doctors. It’s about access to care, because what we’ve seen in Texas – and I don’t want to spend too much time on this — but what we’ve seen in Texas was that because of the proliferation of frivolous lawsuits that occurred in Texas in the ‘90s and the early part of the 2000s, you had particularly high risk for specialties like OBY-Gen, orthopedic surgeons.


In the grand and global sense, anything in the constitution about tort reform? Leave that to the states. Come down and actually put the people on the border. Put the aviation assets in the air so we can have the protection for our citizens, and frankly, the Mexican citizens as well, and stop these drug cartels. That IS a federal responsibility that they are abject failures at, at present.

The first quotes are here as an .mp3 file, and the second cut is here.

The governor’s position, most directly applicable to caps on punitive damages, is not a popular one with House Republicans who view medical liability reform as an important element of their drive to control health care costs.

There are provisions H.R. 5 that clearly involve interstate commerce and are thus appropriate for federal legislation, specifically the treatment of drugs and medical devices that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration. See our post, “Why Medical Liability Reform Matters to Manufacturers.”

Gov. Perry: $100 a Barrel Oil? Think about $200, $300

By | Energy | 2 Comments

The uncertain situation in the Middle East could send world oil prices to $200 or $300 a barrel even as the Obama Administration fails to promote domestic energy development, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) warned today.

Gov. Perry spoke to bloggers at a briefing in Washington, D.C., this morning. (Present were Rob Bluey of the Heritage Foundation, Jen Rubin of The Washington Post, and your Shopfloor.org correspondent.) The governor, who is chairman of the Republican Governors Association, is in town for the winter meeting of the National Governors Association.

In light of oil crossing the $100 a barrel price this week, we asked about the Obama Administration’s policies and attitudes toward development of domestic energy. The governor responded:

Gov. Rick Perry

Putting America’s future at jeopardy by basically hand-cuffing ourselves because of our lack of focus on domestic energy policy I think is devastating to the future.You said hundred-plus-dollar-a-barrel oil. Yes. That’s today. It certainly could go to $200 or even $300 a barrel if the situations in the Middle East – Libya, into Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen all of those countries – if we’re to see continued deterioration of peaceful conducting of business in the drilling and transportation of oil….

I don’t think it’s out of the reach of possibility to see oil even twice or three times what it is today –- devastating to the world economy.

America really needs to get on, and this Administration needs to respect that we can drill safely, cleanly, and get America independent.

Gov. Perry made those comments after citing the technological advances that have made U.S. oil and gas resources far more attainable than in the past. He named examples: the Bakken Formation in the Dakotas and Montana, the Barnett Shale natural gas formation in Texas, Marcellus Shale, and the Eagle Ford shale formation in South Texas.

I share those with you to say the United States has oil and gas reserves that can take us years and years and years into the future without being held hostage by these countries that in many cases don’t care for us all at all, at all. This Administration, with that knowledge, is making decisions that are limiting our ability to discover and produce more of those energy resources in the United States. Read More

Manufacturing in State of the State Addresses: Texas

By | Economy | No Comments

Gov. Rick Perry, the longest-serving governor in the country, gave his State of the State address on Wednesday, along with budgetary and legislative discussions emphasizing his familiar federalism and 10th Amendment resistance to the federal government’s overreach on health care and EPA regulation.

Perry, a Republican, also reminded his audience that Texas is doing pretty well, all things considered.

As this session gets rolling, some folks are painting a pretty grim picture of our situation, so we need to balance their pessimism with the good news that continues to flow from our comparatively strong economy.

Have the doomsayers forgotten that Texas added more jobs in 2010 than any other state? Last year, the growth rate of Texas jobs was nearly double that of any other top ten state.

Some partisan commentators have tried to downplay our economic success by giving sole credit to our energy industry. Now, let me tell you, I’m mighty proud of what our energy industry has done and still does for our state, but our economic strength is built on a much broader base.

Our job growth occurred across a wide variety of sectors, including business services, healthcare, construction, manufacturing, hospitality, and, of course, our substantial energy industry.According to the Brookings Institute, Texas had six of the nation’s 20 Strongest-Performing Metros.

Those figures paint a much more encouraging picture, don’t you think?

Our economic strength is no accident. It’s a testimony to our people, our entrepreneurs and, yes, to the decisions made in this building. Employers from across the country and around the world understand that the opportunity they crave can be found in Texas, and they’re headed our way, with jobs in tow.

The bolded paragraph includes the only reference he makes to manufacturing in the speech.

Earlier coverage of State of the State addresses.

In Wisconsin and Texas, Liability Reform

By | Briefly Legal, Economy | 2 Comments

Upon taking office, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker quickly called the Legislature into special session to pass jobs-related legislation, including a major tort reform package. As we report at Point of Law, the Senate is expected to debate the bill on the floor today, the House could act on Thursday, and the legislation could go to the governof for his signature by the end of the week.

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, representing the people who create jobs, is proving an effective advocate for the reforms, testifying last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee. From WCM, “Lawsuit Reforms Needed to Help Job Creation

MADISON– Lawsuit reforms proposed by Governor Scott Walker and lawmakers will send a signal to employers that Wisconsin is open for business and is a great place to create jobs, WMC said Tuesday.

“Wisconsin businesses need to know that our legal system is fair and predictable,” said James A. Buchen, vice president of government relations for Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce. “Governor Walker has put forward a common sense set of legal reforms that send a message to employers that our state is serious about improving our business climate.”

After being amended by the Senate committee, the bill would impose a cap of punitive damages of twice compensatory damages or $200,000, whichever is greater. State standards of proof would now reflect the Daubert standard, discouraging suits based on “junk science,” and the law’s provisions would be applied prospectively only. The bill would eliminate “risk contribution” theory in manufacturing lawsuits. The Wisconsin Supreme Court created the standard allowing plaintiffs to sue any lead paint manufacturer that sold paint in the state without proving which product caused the harm.

In Texas, similar issues — and the results of the 2010 gubernatorial and legislative elections — are encouraging passage of tort reform, as well. From the Office of Gov. Rick Perry, news release, Jan. 13, “Gov. Perry Calls for Expanded Lawsuit Reform in Texas”: Read More

Federal Control of Greenhouse Gases Would Hammer Texas

By | Briefly Legal, Energy, Global Warming | No Comments

From the Texas Public Policy Foundation, “Foundation: Federal climate change proposals could cost Texas almost 200,000 jobs“:

HOUSTON – The enactment of current federal proposals to cap carbon emissions could cost Texas as much as 200,000 jobs and $41 billion in economic activity in the year 2030, according to new research released today by the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

“Texas, having an economy tied to energy development and manufacturing, is particularly vulnerable to adverse impacts from federal mandates to reduce greenhouse gases,” said the report’s co-author, Dr. Margo Thorning. “If pending legislation such as the Waxman-Markey bill is enacted, the Texas economy will experience slower growth and thousands of valuable jobs will be lost. Energy intensive industries with foreign competition could reduce their operations in Texas and relocate in countries without similar mandates.”

By 2030, Texas would lose 144,600 to 196,900 net jobs, even after accounting for new “green” jobs. Gross state product would drop as much as $41 billion, and manufacturing output would fall in the range of 5 percent.

“The sectors that would absorb the most damage from a cap of carbon emissions are among the most productive and central to Texas’ economic success during the last decade,” said TPPF’s Kathleen Hartnett White. “These are the type of good-paying jobs we need to bring to Texas, rather than lose those jobs to foreign countries that don’t handicap their industries with costly and ineffective carbon mandates.”

Yes, you can’t really argue that creating jobs is priority while supporting legislation to submit emissions-creating economic activity to an all-encompassing federal regulatory regime.

Admittedly, it does appear that federal legislation is less and less likely. The politicized science of global warming has suffered serious, self-inflicted damage in recent months (a summary from Deroy Murdock), so advocates of federalizing carbon dioxide are counting on regulation through an EPA endangerment finding under the Clean Air Act. Which takes us back to Texas and the state’s legal challenge to EPA action. From Investor’s Business Daily, “A Green Tea Party“:

In Texas’ suit, state Attorney General Greg Abbott said the [climate science] shenanigans made any policy decisions based on that work flawed and unjustified. Abbott cited several examples in which he said climate scientists engaged in an “ongoing, orchestrated effort to violate freedom of information laws, exclude scientific research and manipulate temperature data.”

“With billions of dollars at stake, EPA outsourced the scientific basis for its greenhouse gas regulation to a scandal-plagued international organization (the IPCC) that cannot be considered objective or trustworthy,” Abbott argued.

“This legal action,” said Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a 10th Amendment champion, “is being taken to protect the Texas economy and the jobs that go with it, as well as defend Texas’ freedom to continue our successful environmental strategies free from federal overreach.”

States Resist Imperial EPA’s Power Grab on CO2 Regulation

By | Energy, Global Warming | No Comments

Office of Gov. Rick Perry, Texas, “Texas Takes Legal Action Against Federal Government Over EPA CO2 Mandates“:

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry, Attorney General Greg Abbott and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples today announced that the state is taking legal action in the U.S. Court of Appeals challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) endangerment finding for greenhouse gases.

“Texas is aggressively seeking its future in alternative energy through incentives and innovation, not mandates and overreaching regulation,” Gov. Perry said. “The EPA’s misguided plan paints a big target on the backs of Texas agriculture and energy producers and the hundreds of thousands of Texans they employ. This legal action is being taken to protect the Texas economy and the jobs that go with it, as well as defend Texas’ freedom to continue our successful environmental strategies free from federal overreach.”

Washington Post, “Virginia challenges U.S. greenhouse gas curbs

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) on Tuesday filed paperwork attacking the legal underpinnings of an Obama administration effort to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, joining a crowd of political conservatives and business groups with similar objections.

Cuccinelli sent a petition to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, asking the agency to reconsider its finding in December that greenhouse gases pose a danger to public health by contributing to climate change. That finding is a legal trigger, which would allow the EPA to regulate those gases under the Clean Air Act, the same way it regulates the pollutants that cause smog.

Cuccinelli also filed a separate petition asking a federal court to review the EPA’s finding.

See also Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Va. challenges EPA’s stance on global warming

The National Association of Manufacturers and other major business and agriculture groups also filed a petition for review on Tuesday.