Commentary: Loveland Election Confirms, Fact Trumps Fiction in Fracking Debate

July 9, 2014

Jon Haubert

Jon Haubert

As a part of the primary election held on June 24, residents in Loveland were asked whether or not a two-year moratorium on fracking should be enacted in order to further study the potential impacts.

Those unfamiliar that we’ve been fracking since 1947, with over 1.2 million frack jobs under our belt, may be inclined to think, “sure, let’s wait until we know more – what’s the harm?” It’s a very reasonable approach.

But unlike the five communities of Boulder, Broomfield, Fort Collins, Lafayette and Longmont who voted for a ban or moratorium in past elections, Loveland changed course and immediately became a national case study and microcosm in the debate on fracking.

Why? It’s clear that those previous decisions to halt fracking in Colorado communities were based on unfounded and hyperemotional claims meant to mask anti-fracking organizations’ true agenda of eliminating the production of oil and natural gas altogether. Read more »

Where’s Mark Udall?

June 16, 2014

Where in the world is Sen. Mark Udall?

We don’t mean politically, but physically, literally, where is the Colorado Democrat spending his time during a crucial election year?

He doesn’t’ seem to be devoting much of his schedule to pressing the flesh of Charlie and Cindy Constituent in Colorado, despite the tight contest with Republican challenger Rep. Cory Gardner.

In fact, his Senate schedule has noted only one public appearance this year – a May 17 meeting in Grand Junction to discuss turning the Colorado National Monument into a national park.

We’ve tracked down his Colorado appearances in the last few months and found that he also attended a meeting in Carbondale to voice concerns about energy development, and a Durango assembly focused on bringing televised Bronco games to the Four Corners region. Read more »

Boulder’s Mistake to Cost $1 Billion

June 16, 2014

Legal genius

Legal genius

The ever-so precious denizens of Colorado’s Crackpot County, aka Boulder, seem to have racked up a billion-dollar tab with their precious ban on hydraulic fracturing.

While Boulderians were patting themselves on their collective backs for banning the technology that has reinvigorated American industry and slashed carbon emissions, the people who actually have something at stake have been busy.

It turns out that Boulder’s ban will actually cost its residents about $1 billion in lost revenues, according to a new study by the National Association of Royalty Owners.

That’s right, the fracking ban has exposed the back-patting Boulderians to takings claims by owners, who by the way deserve compensation for being denied the use of their private property. Read more »

Udall Hopes to Win with Bennet’s Playbook

June 13, 2014

Sen. Mark Udall

Sen. Mark Udall and his shadow

National Democrats have become confident that Sen. Mark Udall can win a second term by replaying the 2010 tape. That’s the one in which Udall’s Senate doppelgänger, Michael Bennet, pulled off an improbable victory over Republican Ken Buck.

The idea is pretty straightforward — paint the opponent negatively (It doesn’t hurt, by the way, if the opponent cooperates with a series of missteps) offer a few progressive nostrums (If you like your doctor, you can keep him) and have a well-organized get-out-the-vote effort funded by the president.

But 2010 isn’t exactly the same as 2014.

In 2010, hundreds of thousands of Coloradans had yet to get health insurance cancellations, for instance.

In 2010, Obama and Bennet were able to claim they had done battle with al Qaeda and were winning. A horrible thing, however, happened on the way to victory over al Qaeda. Read more »

Rep. Bishop: How to Insult a Westerner

June 11, 2014

The Heritage Foundation held a forum Tuesday to educate easterners on the need to reduce the federal government’s control of public lands in the West – a topic near and dear to our hearts.

The panel was lead by Utah Republican Rep. Rob Bishop, a contender to take over as chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee next year, so we were particularly interested to hear his views on the never-ending battle between D.C. and the rest of us.

Bishop summed that up in a somewhat heated exchange with a reporter from U.S. News and World Report, who suggested public lands in the West could only be protected by lawmakers in Washington.

The reporter questioned whether special interest groups and lobbyists could effectively apply more pressure to state lawmakers to do harmful, untold things to “federal” land, in essence suggesting that members of Congress would never buckle to such pressure.

“What makes you confident that state legislators would be able to push back against that influence, such as with development that might go beyond what many people might be seeking, on these federal lands?” the reporter asked. Read more »

Why Udall Really Called for the VA Chief’s Resignation

May 29, 2014

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki

Sen. Mark Udall has come down hard on the Veterans Affairs Department, leading the most discerning of observers to conclude that it must be an election year.

Udall was silent when it was revealed last month that the VA center in Phoenix had a secret waiting list on which health care officials placed problematic veterans who might endanger their bonuses.

When 40 veterans died waiting for treatment, not a word came from Udall.

When an inspector’s general report in early May exposed the VA center in Fort Collins trying to game the system in a similar manner, Udall was silent.

But now a new and improved inspector’s general report supposedly gave Udall enough cover to call for Shinseki’s resignation on Wednesday.

More likely, Udall saw some unfavorable polling that inspired him to push Shinseki off the side of the sinking ship known as the Obama administration.

Or, it could have been those robocalls from the national Republican Party that flooded the phones of Colorado voters exposing Udall’s cowardice in the VA scandal. Read more »

Our View: Obama’s Pot Shot at Colorado Hits Home

May 5, 2014

WASHINGTON — Props to President Barack Obama for some of his comedic one-liners delivered at the White House Correspondent’s annual dinner here Saturday night.

We laughed at jokes directed at the media — folks at the MSNBC table being a little nervous, having never before seen such a large audience.

Fox News will miss him when he’s gone, Obama said, because it will be tougher to convince their audience that Hillary Clinton was born in Kenya.

“In 2008, my slogan was ‘Yes, we can.’ In 2013, my slogan was ‘control, alt, delete,’” the president quipped.

However, we got a little touchy when Obama took a pot shot at Colorado that hit a little too close to home.

“Colorado legalized marijuana this year, an interesting social experiment,” Obama began.

“I do hope it doesn’t lead to a whole lot of paranoid people who think that the federal government is out to get them and listening to their phone calls. That would be a problem,” Obama said. Read more »

Our View: BLM is Riding Roughshod Over Us

May 1, 2014

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has been running roughshod across the West claiming private land in Texas, threatening water rights in Colorado, and creating tougher restrictions on public lands that would curb energy development.

Now the BLM has decided to conduct an unprecedented retroactive environmental review of 64 oil and gas leases on the Western Slope, a move that energy supporters say is a backdoor attempt to pull the ten-year leases, some in areas where producing wells have already been developed and provide jobs.

The BLM claims the initial review conducted by the Forest Service was defective, and as part of their new and improved dog-and-pony show have held hearings in Aspen, Carbondale, and Glenwood Springs to collect input from the public. Read more »

Our View: Udall Follows New Script on Obamacare

March 27, 2014

Vulnerable Senate Democrats up for reelection have a new strategy to deflect attention from their support of Obamacare and all of its failures and delays – abandon the defense line and just pledge to fix it.

That was the message from Democratic pollster Celinda Lake in Washington on Tuesday, who analyzed the results of a George Washington University Battleground Poll and said that voters don’t want the system scrapped they want it repaired.

“In terms of Obamacare, don’t defend it, say it was flawed from the beginning, and we’re going to fix it,” said Lake at a poll briefing hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

“Say, we’re not going to go back to the days of leaving you on your own with the insurance companies,” Lake advised.

Colorado’s Democratic Sen. Mark Udall had the playbook in action the following day telling KOA-AM that he stood by his vote for Obamacare, it just needed a little fixing. Read more »

Our View: Too Early for Campaign Mud Fight

March 20, 2014
Mud season has come early for the Udall campaign.

Mud season has come early for the Udall campaign.

The rapid response team from Sen. Mark Udall’s campaign war room went berserk on Wednesday in a desperate attempt to deflect attention away from their massive treasure chest of funding and onto their opponent’s wallet.

Not the Republican opponents who are actually challenging the Democrat for the Senate seat, but private citizens who didn’t like Udall’s vote in favor of Obamacare.

Americans for Prosperity-Colorado, a group primarily funded by Charles and David Koch, launched a $970,000 ad campaign Monday in the Denver and Colorado Springs markets criticizing Udall’s support for President Barack Obama’s signature legislation.

It’s a drop in the financial bucket for the wealthy businessmen and philanthropist brothers, who recently donated $100 million to the New York Presbyterian Hospital to build an ambulatory care center. Read more »

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