- Associated Press - Friday, January 9, 2015

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Gov. Rick Perry says plummeting oil prices will make things “very uncomfortable” for parts of Texas, especially oil-patch regions where “this is going to be a painful period of time.”

Addressing a conservative forum Friday in Austin, Perry said Texas has diversified its economy since the 1980s when an oil bust brought economic misery to much of the state.

But Texas still leads the nation in oil production, and Perry said the price slump could persist for a few quarters and predicted “a bit of belt-tightening in places.”

He singled out Midland and Odessa in West Texas, as well as “parts of Houston,” as areas that “will have to make some changes.”

Perry added, though, that economists believe falling oil prices ultimately would be “a relatively short-lived economic challenge” statewide.

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