Governing Energy Development by Protecting Natural Resources
MONTROSE — Get a “U-Haul for Udall” was the rallying cry Saturday at a luncheon hosted by the Republican Women of Montrose County, where the man attendees believe will best serve Colorado in the U.S. Senate spoke of reining in trillions of dollars in national spending and removing federal regulations to create new jobs.
Republican Congressman Cory Gardner of Colorado’s 4th District in the U.S. House of Representatives aims to unseat incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Udall this fall.
Just as Udall did a week ago, Gardner toured Southwest Colorado seeking support, raising money and delivering his platform of fiscal responsibility and broad domestic energy development and a goal of “restoring respect for Congress.” He said poor economic policy has slowed the nation’s economy “to a sputter,” and promised to work to reform the nation’s tax codes, including its corporate tax rate, which is the highest in the world, while pushing for layoffs at the IRS.
“There will be no forgotten Coloradans when we are elected to the U.S. Senate,” he told a packed dinning room at Remington’s.
With recent redistricting efforts, it appears unlikely the GOP will lose control of the House of Representatives any time soon, making control of the Senate this year’s largest political battle.
Gardner said he was discussing his re-election to the House with his wife Jaime when it dawned on him “there was too much work to be done,” and a jump from the House to the Senate was a better venue for getting crucial legislation passed.
“We could stay in our Republican House seat, but that’s not why we went to Washington,” he said. “We went to Washington to change the direction of this country. The best way to do that is to take back majority of the Senate, retire Mark Udall, and send Harry Reid out the door.”
Gardner, is a fifth-generation Coloradan born and raised in Yuma, was first elected to the House in 2010. He questions whether Udall’s nearly two decades in public office have helped Colorado working class families, and promised to help small businesses grow, to create new jobs.
“You’ve seen your medium household income fall in decline as much as six percent since 2008,” he said. “We’ve watched as the hours that people have worked decline because of Obama-care, we’ve watched as regulations have strangled small businesses and have made it more difficult to work in this country. And we’re going to change all of that.”
Gardner, a member of Congress’s Energy and Commerce Committee, said the country can avoid future energy crisis “by simply utilizing what’s here in our own backyard.”
With domestic energy production – oil and natural gas – at its highest levels in U.S. history, Gardner voiced confidence in a reduced dependence on foreign import, to which end he promoted renewable energy development, as well.
Gardner, who grew up in farm country, said he is a staunch supporter of water rights, and of protecting Colorado’s natural resources, which, he said, the federal government should not interfere with, because it is a matter of state governance. Regulations against drilling practices like hydraulic fracturing have hurt domestic production, although, he said, there must be a balance between governance, energy policy and protecting natural resources.
“We have to protect our water,” he emphasized.
Colorado House District 58 Republican Don Coram of Montrose said once Gardner is elected, “We’re gonna get a U-Haul for Udall and get him out of there.”
Before departing for Durango, Gardner toured the local timber mill and new hydroelectric facility on the south canal.