Governor Perry makes like a vending machine: Money goes in, policy comes out.
Gov. Rick Perry's request for a waiver of federal corn-based ethanol production mandates was prompted by a March meeting he had with East Texas poultry producer Lonnie "Bo" Pilgrim, who six days later gave $100,000 to the Republican Governors Association chaired by Perry.
In the three weeks following that donation, Perry's staff began preparing to submit the renewable fuel standards waiver request to the federal Environmental Protection Agency, according to 596 pages of records obtained from the governor's office by the Houston Chronicle under the Texas Public Information Act.
The donation, given March 31, also made it possible for Pilgrim to address nine Republican governors during a closed-door energy conference in Grapevine to explain his belief that ethanol production is driving up feed costs for poultry and livestock producers.
Perry aide Allison Castle said political donors get nothing but "good government" from Perry. She said he asked for the waiver because of ethanol's potential negative impact on livestock and poultry producers. Castle said Perry is scheduled to meet with EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson this month.