August 29, 2008

Colorado a Key Battleground Over Nation’s Direction on Energy

By Sen Nancy Spence

What started out earlier this year as one of the Democrats' leading issues - energy - may have become their Achilles' heel.

Democrats were riding a wave of enthusiasm for wind and solar power as renewable-energy sources that minimized our "carbon footprint" amid concerns about global warming. Yet, this summer of soaring energy costs, especially at the gas pump, offered a reality check - and handed Republicans an opening to grab back the energy issue.

"Renewable" sources not only cost more than conventional fuels but also supply only a small portion of the nation's energy needs. Oil and natural gas still drive our energy economy, and expanded drilling is the only realistic response to the cost crunch of energy. Further, polls show that the public agrees.

Now, we're seeing Democrats around the country and in Colorado, including U.S. Senate candidate Mark Udall, doing some fancy backpedaling. They are expressing support for expanded oil and gas drilling alongside renewable sources. That's where we Republicans have been all along.

Here's the new challenge for Barack Obama and other Democrats on energy: How to back up their newfound appreciation for oil and gas with actual policy. Here in Colorado, Gov. Bill Ritter could lead the way by ceasing his attempt to smother oil and gas exploration with new regulations and higher taxes.

Sen. Nancy Spence is assistant minority leader. For the full version of her entry, visit dnc/

Originally published by Sen. Nancy Spence.

(c) 2008 Rocky Mountain News. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.