By Forrest Wilder
While Texas politics has never been too kind to those with green leanings, Perry has been particularly hostile to environmental concerns -- that is, when he's showing any interest at all.
In truth, as governor, Perry has rarely had much to say about Texas' pressing environmental problems -- dwindling water supplies, a dearth of public parkland to serve a growing population, the consequences of an oil-and-gas 'fracking' boom in North and South Texas, and the ravages of climate change -- other than to bash the EPA or tout Texas' modest gains in urban air quality, improvements that have much more to do with federal mandates than Texas ingenuity.
For the most part, he appears to be just not that interested. But on a few issues Perry has certainly made his mark. The governor's environmental policies, if he can be said to have any, are best understood as an extension of his anti-fed bent and coziness with wealthy individuals and corporations. When someone needs a favor or there's a political point to score, he's suddenly fired up and fed up.
He's like the deer hunter who sits in the blind all day drinking beer and shooting the shit, only to blast away mindlessly when Bambi shows up at the feeder. Does he hit the target? Sometimes, but that's not really the point. The point is to make as much noise as possible and have a show of force. In the background, meanwhile, his appointees at captured agencies like the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality make sure that business and powerful interests are happy.