According to some pollsters, Texas Governor Rick Perry is ahead of the other contenders for the GOP nomination for president. Among conservationists, I suspect he would be tied with Michele Bachmann for last if only they were polled.

I base my suspicion on the following. Big oil has been his biggest campaign donor, contributing more than $11 million. He believes that climate change can be solved by prayer and that the record-breaking heat and drought plaguing his state can best be handled by praying to God for relief. God must be paying scant attention to Perry and his true believers.

He advocates a moratorium on regulations throughout the country and contends that the EPA is killing jobs across America. He brags that Texas gets six percent of its energy needs from windmills, more than any other state, for which he takes credit but has done nothing to advance the cause of wind energy. It was accomplished under the direction of former Governor George Bush. When Perry was a Democrat, he supported Al Gore’s campaign for president, but now he says, “I think he’s gone to hell.”

Jeff Goodell, writing in the magazine Rolling Stone, opined the following. “… Perry has a vision for America’s energy future that is so blindingly nostalgic and aggressively anti-science that it makes George W. Bush look like a commie tree-hugger.”

Perry brags about Texas’s job-creating record. But its record on cancer-causing chemicals released into the air and water is deplorable. It ranks number one in both categories. It also ranks first in amount of hazardous wastes generated.

I wonder how many seniors will vote for Perry when they read what he wrote about Social Security in his book, Fed Up. “By any measure, Social Security is a failure. A program we have been forced to accept for more than 70 years now…and was created at the expense of respect for the constitution and limited government.”

Extremists in the Tea Party movement may agree with Perry’s anti-environmental positions and even with his critique of Social Security, but it’s doubtful that his pro-illegal stands will please them. He has firmly opposed constructing a border fence and in 2001 supported legislation that allowed children of illegal immigrants to attend Texas universities and colleges at in-state tuition.