August 15, 2008

Udall Energy Plan Includes Offshore Drilling

By Lynn Bartels

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mark Udall unveiled an energy plan Wednesday that includes offshore drilling, the hot-button topic in politics in Colorado and the nation.

Udall, a congressman from Eldorado Springs, stood with U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Denver, on the west steps of the Capitol to talk about their proposal to return to Washington in September and push for a comprehensive energy plan before the year is out.

Republicans charged that Udall suddenly supports drilling because polls show Americans are furious about gas prices and his Republican opponent, Bob Schaffer, is gaining on him.

"I've always said we have to have responsible drilling," Udall said during the news conference. "I'm not opposed to drilling. What I've been opposed to is the Bush-Cheney focus solely on oil. I've been opposed to (the) Bush-Cheney line that we can drill our way out of this challenge."

Offshore drilling is also an issue in the presidential race between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain. Obama has said he does not support offshore drilling but is willing to consider it as part of package with alternative energies at the forefront.

"I find it terribly amusing that Boulder liberal Udall is trying to recast himself as some kind of a proponent of domestic drilling," said Dick Wadhams, Schaffer's campaign manager.

He noted that an energy ad Udall unveiled this week mentions drilling, while a May energy ad focused on renewables.

"This is proof we've got him on the run," Wadhams said.

Schaffer served in Congress for six years before going to work for an oil and gas company. He left in January to campaign full time.

"My opposition to (Schaffer's) energy plan is based on the fact that it's a drill, drill, drill approach," Udall said.

"We need a much broader approach, a much more comprehensive approach."


Then and now

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mark Udall in May and again this month released ads talking about energy independence. The latest ad talks about the need for domestic drilling, which Republican Bob Schaffer's campaign says is a sign that the energy issue is turning their way.


Udall: Standing on your own, that's just the Colorado way. It's what America's got to do with our energy policy, which is why I've led Republicans and Democrats to end our addiction to foreign oil, develop renewable fuels and provide tax incentives to grow.

Colorado's new energy economy. We need energy solutions, green jobs and a cleaner future for Colorado.

I'm Mark Udall and I approved this message because we've got to get this right.


Udall: We've got to draw a line in the sand that, starting today, right now, America is going to work for energy independence.

Through new technology and increased efficiency and with all this wind, why depend so much on foreign oil? We've got to produce our own oil and gas here in our country and keep it here to power America's economy.

I'm Mark Udall and I approved this message because we've got so much at stake and together we can get this right.

Originally published by Lynn Bartels, Rocky Mountain News.

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