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Rick Perry: An Unlikely Wind Energy Investor

Trump's Energy Secretary Invested $7 Billion in THIS...

Written by Jeff Siegel
Posted December 20, 2016

I’m not going to lie.

I’ve never been a fan of Governor Rick Perry.

His tirades against gay marriage and California liberals became incredibly tiresome a few years back, even for a libertarian like me. And his insinuation that the BP oil spill was the result of an Act of God was painfully absurd.

All in all, Rick Perry wants to make sure that everyone knows he’s a gun-toting, flag-waving Texas Republican who has no patience for tree-huggers, socialists, and fags. And he’s done a good job at delivering on that image.

Of course, I know it’s all an act.

You can’t be the governor of Texas if you don’t talk about God on a regular basis while brandishing antique firearms and blaming the fall of Western civilization on immoral and elitist liberals.

That being said, while I have no interest in Rick Perry’s “God Bless America” routine, I do have an interest in his record on energy.

Rick Perry Loves Wind

There’s no doubt Rick Perry loves Big Oil about as much as he loves red meat and talking trash about New York City.

And how could he not?

In 2015, the oil and gas industry in Texas paid out $13.8 billion in taxes and royalties. It would be stupid to bite the hand that feeds your state.

But you know what else Rick Perry loves?

Wind energy.

No, I’m serious.

The renewable energy resource that has been criticized by nearly every conservative talk show host and alt-right message board bully on the planet has also been fully embraced by Rick Perry.

The former governor of Texas was actually quite instrumental in delivering strong incentives, innovative policies, and significant infrastructure investments for the wind energy industry, which included a $7 billion “Competitive Renewable Energy Zone” initiative that featured a 3,600-mile network of transmission lines.

This project actually made it possible for wind-generated electricity to move from wind farms in West Texas and the panhandle to larger population centers, such as San Antonio and Dallas.

Today, the state of Texas boasts the most installed wind power in the country, generating more than 12% of its electricity solely from wind.

And last month, Texas actually broke a record for wind generation after November winds generated 15,033 megawatts of wind power at one time. This accounted for almost half of the entire state’s electricity.

Texas’s wind energy policy under Rick Perry ultimately resulted in the creation of 24,000 wind-related jobs and $33 billion in capital investment. And the state still has another 5,000 megawatts under construction, indicating that Perry’s wind energy legacy did not die when he left office.

 

Observations of Truth

While I no doubt expect Perry to be a champion for the oil and gas industry, it would be unwise to assume that he will seek to kill off any renewable energy momentum we’ve witnessed over the past decade.

Not only has Perry become an unlikely wind energy advocate, but times have changed over the past 10 years or so.

Even in the absence of heavy regulatory burdens, coal is stagnant at best. Cheap natural gas killed that beast. And quite frankly, solar and wind are less than a decade away from being competitive with fossil fuels and nuclear. In some places, these renewable sources are already competitive.

Rick Perry knows that there are strong economic and national security arguments in favor of diversified energy sources — especially in the case of wind. And I suspect he’ll bring this knowledge with him to Washington.

Certainly we’ll be paying close attention, as there are definitely some opportunities here for wind energy investors.

Companies like Vestas (OTCBB: VWDRY), GE (NYSE: GE), and Siemens (OTCBB: SIEGY) could end up doing very well with Perry dictating energy policy from the office of an agency that he once deemed ripe for destruction.

Sure, we can laugh about it now because you know as well as I do that these guys will say just about anything to get elected. But once they’re in a position to build their egos and fortunes, they never walk away.

This isn’t necessarily a criticism, by the way. It’s merely an observation of truth.

And here’s another observation of truth...

Energy investors would be wise to start sifting through a few wind energy stocks right now, as 2017 could end up being a gangbuster year for the wind energy industry. And rest assured, we’ll be taking full advantage.

To a new way of life and a new generation of wealth...

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Jeff Siegel

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Jeff is the founder and managing editor of Green Chip Stocks, a private investment community that capitalizes on opportunities in alternative energy, organic food markets, legal cannabis, and socially-responsible investing. He has been a featured guest on Fox, CNBC, and Bloomberg Asia, and is the author of the best-selling book, Investing in Renewable Energy: Making Money on Green Chip Stocks. For more on Jeff, go to his editor's page.

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