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Perry sends Obama letter criticizing energy policy

By Ramit Plushnick-masti

Associated Press

Published: Monday, May 19 2014 9:29 a.m. MDT

HOUSTON — Texas Gov. Rick Perry has written to President Barack Obama criticizing his administration's energy policies, EPA regulations and failure to approve the construction of a pipeline to carry tar sands crude from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries.

The letter, which reiterates much of Perry's longstanding opposition to the Obama administration's energy policies, comes as a bipartisan energy bill is stalled in Congress by Republican Senators demanding a vote on the Keystone XL Canada-to-Texas pipeline and on the EPA's move to put greenhouse gas regulations on existing coal-fired power plants. The pipeline requires Obama's approval because it would cross an international border.

Perry is considered a possible presidential contender in 2016 and his letter, dated Friday, touts Texas' economy and what he called the state's success at having both a robust energy industry and sound environmental regulations. Critics argue that Texas' policies are more business-friendly than they are protective of the environment.

Perry told Obama in the letter that his "policies are strangling the energy industry."

"You are waging a war on coal, kicking the can down the road on the Keystone XL pipeline and creating obstacles to onshore and offshore oil and gas production," Perry wrote.

The three-page letter repeats Perry's opposition to new EPA regulations on coal-fired power plants, including rules designed to limit mercury emissions and hold states accountable for pollution that affects downwind states. Last month, however, a federal appeals court upheld the agency's rules on mercury, and the Supreme Court backed the EPA on its downwind pollution regulations.

Texas has been a primary litigant in these legal challenges.

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