Group: ‘Alarmism’ causing roadblocks in Colo energy search |

Group: ‘Alarmism’ causing roadblocks in Colo energy search

Phillip Yates
Glenwood Springs Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Global warming alarmism is causing lawmakers to oppose “common-sense” energy solutions like developing Colorado’s large oil shale resources, a group visiting Glenwood Springs said Friday.

Jim Pfaff, Colorado state director for Americans for Prosperity, said the threats from alarmism from global warming has caused legislators like U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., and Rep. Mark Udall, D-Eldorado Springs, to set up “roadblocks” to energy development in the United States.

Pfaff specifically criticized Salazar for “persistently” setting up roadblocks to develop oil shale in Colorado. He made his comments in front of a small hot-air balloon that said global warming alarmism has caused lost jobs, higher taxes and less freedom. Pfaff also criticized Udall for similar efforts to block energy development, like extracting oil shale.

Some critics have blasted Americans for Prosperity as a group financed by the oil and gas and chemical industries. Pfaff said his group is a “grassroots, non-partisan” advocacy group, Carrie Doyle, executive director of Colorado Conservation Voters, said Udall and Salazar “have been leaders in Congress in finding a way to broaden our energy supply, and to save consumers in money by investing in efficiently.”

“Those two are real leaders on this issue,” Doyle said. “To have this Americans for Prosperity group denying the reality of global warming, it is counter productive to prosperity and energy independence.”

Energy and the possible development of oil shale have become key issues in Colorado’s U.S. Senate race this year. That race pits Udall against Bob Schaffer, a former Republican congressman from Fort Collins. Both men are running to replace U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo.

Republicans have criticized both Udall and Salazar for supporting a moratorium that has blocked the BLM from issuing final regulations for commercial oil shale leasing ” although the BLM issued draft regulations last month.

The moratorium ends at the end of September. Udall told the Post Independent last month that he would work to keep that moratorium in place.

The BLM estimates that there is up to 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil in Wyoming, Utah and Colorado. Some of the richest oil shale deposits are in Colorado, where three companies have experimental leases to conduct research into possible oil shale extraction.

The companies working on those experimental leases in Colorado have said it might not be until some time next decade before they could develop the resource on a commercial scale.

Udall said last month that research and development should be completed before “we fast-track large-scale oil shale development that could use enormous amounts of water, unlimited amounts of electricity and ruin our western landscape.”

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