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Perry's Jobs Plan Based Off Barnett Shale

Rick Perry Gives Speech On Energy Independence And Jobs At PA Steel Plant
WEST MIFFLIN, PA - OCTOBER 14: Republican presidential hopeful, Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks at the United States Steel Mon Valley Works Irvin Plant on October 14, 2011 in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania. Perry spoke about his plan for the United States to achieve energy independence and increase employment through domestic oil drilling. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Lloyd Thomas lost his job, then lost his home.  So he came to the Texas Workforce Commission to find work. "Those bills do add up, and for me to survive I need more income."

On Friday, Governor Rick Perry announced his plan to help Thomas and millions of other unemployed Americans.  At a steel plant outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Governor Perry said the answer is to take what's happening in the Barnett Shale in North Texas -- and recreate it in other parts of the country.

"A big part of the solution is right under our feet -- right off our coast. it can be done without being mired in Washington gridlock because a president has all the authority he needs to roll back those intrusive regulations to create energy jobs."

Mr. Perry says his plan would create 1.2 million jobs.  It would open oil and gas fields for exploration in Alaska, and resume increased oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico.

He would also open federal and private lands in the western United State for oil exploration.

The governor also supports the Keystone XL Pipeline.  It would transport 700,000 barrels of oil from Alberta, Canada each day to refineries in Texas and Louisiana.

Some experts like SMU economics professor Bernard Weinstein say it could quickly create 20,000 to 30,000 jobs.  "I'd give it a B because there are a lot of sensible things in it."

Weinstein credits Perry's plan, but says, "Most of what Governor Perry is proposing is of significant long-term economic benefit -- isn't going to put a lot of people back to work right away."

Lloyd Thomas says the energy plan is a good start. "I think that's a great idea that way we'll have a great opportunity to get jobs."

Governor Perry attacked President Obama's stringent regulations by the EPA - which he claims will wipe out nearly 2.5 million jobs.

President Obama's campaign criticized Governor Perry's plan -- saying it isn't the way to win the future and is straight out of the past.

Governor Perry is trying to revive his sagging campaign which has seen his popularity slide in the past month.  But in an interview on The Early Show, Governor Perry shrugged off his sliding poll numbers.

He says he doubts the current frontrunners, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and businessman Herman Cain will be the Republican nominee.

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