Thursday, August 14, 2008

GOP Legislators Attack Salazar's Stand on Energy Development

Several GOP state legislators attacked U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar's positions on energy development on federal lands yesterday, calling on him to be more accommodating to Bush Administration plans for more drilling on the western slope and off U.S. coasts.

Salazar has been a vocal critic of those administration plans, calling on the Departments of Interior and Agriculture, who manage federal lands, to be give more consideration of environmental impacts and to give less weight to gas prices at the pump.

"Ken Salazar has missed a golden opportunity to become Colorado's quarterback for common sense energy policy," Sen. Mike Kopp, R-Littleton, said. "He could be genuinely helping families meet their budgets for gas and utility bills, but I guess he would rather be a punter than a quarterback."

Salazar has opposed development on Colorado’s Roan Plateau and the Vermillion Basin. He has also opposed allowing environmental rules to be established so the feasibility of commercial oil shale production can be determined.

The Republicans' criticism of Colorado's junior senator was included in a letter sent to Salazar Wednesday by, among others, Kopp, senate minority leader Andy McElhany of Colorado Springs, and senate assistant minority leader Nancy Spence of Centennial.