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Rick Perry: Need for 'all of the above' approach to energy

AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Energy Secretary Rick Perry won't leave any source of power out of the picture when looking at energy resources in Texas and nationwide.

"Coal, nuclear, wind, solar, natural gas, hydro, we need to have all of those being healthy out there for the national security of this country," Perry said.

He explained that focusing on only one source at the expense of another is short-sighted.

"We need all of those plants because of the resilience and the reliability of having... the fuel on the power station," Perry said.

For oil and gas producers like Kirk Edwards, that is good news.

"The United States needs every type of energy, we need solar, we need the wind, we need geothermal we need everything that can be produced because it makes this country great to allow us to be more energy independent," Edwards, president and chief executive officer of the Midland/Odessa branch of Latigo Petroleum, said.

"The benefits to having multiple energy sources are you are never dependent on just one," Edwards explained.

If you thought the diverse energy market would cause friction between the solar/wind industries and the oil/gas worlds, you would be wrong, if you ask Greg Wortham, who heads up the Texas Wind Energy Clearinghouse.

"There’s no issues on either direction," Wortham said. "It’s energy, and we need energy."

"Sometimes the natural gas pipes will freeze, sometimes the wind turbines ice," he said, outlining some of the challenges that require other energy sources to be utilized.

Job opportunities flourish too, Wortham said, when there's higher demand for energy not only in Texas, but around the world.

"A lot of people keep their jobs, in the tens of thousands, out here because it’s all the sectors going at the same time," he stated.

Perry said he and President Donald Trump's administration were committed to "making sure that these coal plants, these nuclear plants as well as our gas plants and the renewables, are all part of the mix and it will give us resiliency and reliability in our grid so that we have the power when we need it."


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