Sen. Mark Udall bloats Defense Dept. spending with green energy mandates
Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) is a leading spend and tax environmental extremist who is bragging about inflating the Defense Dept.'s budget with an amendment that will force it to waste billions on uneconomic green energy.
In a letter to constituents, he wrote:
Last week, the U.S. Senate voted 62-37 in favor of my amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013, authorizing the Defense Department to continue its efforts to develop and use alternative fuels. I worked across the aisle to secure this bipartisan victory. Passage of this amendment, when signed into law, will ensure that our military has the resources it needs to develop and use advanced alternative fuels that bring down costs, improve mission capabilities and reduce the strategic vulnerabilities associated with a reliance on foreign fossil fuels.
Udall's up for re-election in 2014. Sadly, the GOP doesn't seem to have a strong challenger in the wings. So Udall can safely promote unwise government spending and higher taxes to pay for that spending.
Colorado • Elections '14 • Energy • Legislation • Politics • Congress 112th • Taxes • Permalink
Frank McNulty backs Dick Wadhams for chair of Colorado GOP, opposes medical pot bill
Colorado House Speaker Frank McNulty said this morning that he backs Dick Wadhams for re-election as chairman of the Colorado Republican Party. McNulty told a breakfast meeting of the Arapahoe County Republican Mens (and women's) Club that Wadhams did a very good job navigating Colorado Republicans through the 2010 elections. "Dick is the right guy to lead us through the 2012 elections," McNulty said. Wadhams has announced that he is running for a third two-year term as chair. A new GOP central committee will elect the state pary's chair on March 13.
In response to my question, McNulty also said that he opposes the Medical Marijuana bill (HB 1043), which would make it easier to grow, sell, prescribe and buy pot. He said pot legislation "will go through several iterations" in the 2011 session of the General Assembly.
In response to a question about cutting the car tax increase that was enacted last year, McNulty said cutting would be a symbolic victory and that he is focused on winning real victories, not symbolic ones. In other words, he's not going to make repealing FASTER or cutting the car tax until he achieves his major goals.
McNulty said that the top priority for House Republicans is to cut state spending and to reform job killing regulations on the oil and gas and other industries. His second and fall back priority, he said, is to stop the Democrat-controlled Senate and Gov. John Hickenlooper from increasing spending.
However, McNulty said, he is not for cutting spending on K-12 education.
Higher education is another story, he said. The most money in the state budget that can be cut goes for higher education, which will take a hit, McNulty said.
When I asked whether the legislature can take power away from the faculty in higher education so that they no longer can block cost cutting efforts, McNulty said that Republicans will try to give the top executives and boards of the state's universities and community colleges more power to cut costs by reforming civil service laws that make it very difficult for them to layoff people.
I hope to post clips of McNulty's comments this evening.
Colorado • Budget • Energy • Legislation • Taxes • Permalink
Al Gore admits corn ethanol a big mistake; will Mark Udall, Michael Bennet vote accordingly?
Some $7 billion in wasted corn ethanol subsidies will expire Dec. 31, and one of the chief supporters of those subsidies, Al Gore, says those subsidies are a huge mistake that will be politically difficult to fix. Because there are corn ethanol plants in Colorado, its Congressional delegation has voted to impose ethanol subsidies and taxes on voters and force drivers to buy gasoline that is 10% ethanol. This reduces milelage by 12% to 15%. Will Senators Mark Udall, Michael Bennet and the rest of the state's delegation do the fiscally and ethically responsible thing and vote against extending the subsidies and forcing drivers to buy ethanol? Don't bet your farm on it. LINK: U.S. corn ethanol was not a good policy—Gore, by Gerard Wynn.
Colorado • Economics • Energy • Politics • Congress 112th • Permalink
Mark Udall wants to put Colorado coal and petroleum industries out of business
Sen. Mark Udall wants to put Colorado's coal and petroleum producers out of business. He wants to send consumers' utility bill even higher. And he wants to pick winners and losers among developers of new businesses in the energy and other industries.
He thinks he knows what's best for Colorado, and he won't listen to anybody who disagrees, including voters who almost defeated Sen. Michael Bennet and sent three Colorado Obama Democrat members of the U.S.House packing.
Just how out-of-touch with Colorado economics and economic reality in general Udall is can be seen in this article that he recently co-authored with a couple of other Obama Democrats in the Senate. LINK: Clean energy: Economic key to 21st Century, by Debbie Stabenow, Kay Hagan & Mark Udall.
Colorado • Economics • Employers • Energy • Politics • Congress 112th • Permalink
John Hickenlooper’s ‘voluntary tax’ on oil and gas industry would be ‘extortion,’ Tom Tancredo says
During last Friday's debate, John Hickenlooper said that he would fund higher education in Colorado with a "voluntary tax" on the highly regulated oil and gas exploration and production industries in the state.
That would be "extortion", charged Tom Tancredo, who has promised to not raise any taxes or fees if he is elected governor. Tancredo pointed out that because if Hickenlooper becomes governor and asks the oil and gas industry to accept a voluntary tax, they would have no choice to but to agree. If they didn't agree to the voluntary tax, Hickenlooper would impose even tougher regulations on them than Gov. Bill Ritter has. The Ritter regulations on Colorado's oil and gas producers has cost the state thousands of jobs, according to Repubicans. Democrats say the jobs have been lost because of sharply depressed natural gas prices. There's some truth in both arguments. Tancredo spoke to a rally in Littleton Saturday evening.
Colorado • Budget • Economics • Employers • Energy • Legislation • Politics • TABOR • Taxes • Permalink
Tom Tancredo says he would name Greg Brophy, Craig Meis to his cabinet
American Constitution Republican Party candidate Tom Tancredo today announced that if he is elected governor on Nov. 2 he will name Assistant State Senate Minority Leader Greg Brophy and Mesa County Commissioner Craig Meis to his cabinet. Tancredo's announcement is his way of showing that if elected, he would quickly move to take over the leadrship of the state by bringing strong people into his cabinet and putting them to work on Colorado's budget and economic problems. Brophy has a very strong following on the Eastern Plains. He's a strong environmentalist, a farmer and a technology geek who will become the campaign's lede tweeter. Meis brings energy industry expertese to the campaign, and he will win votes for Tancredo on the Western Slope, especially in oil field and coal counties. This will free Tancredo to focus on the Front Range over the next three weeks. He's showing that he not only knows the issues but also who the problem solvers are and that they will work for him and for Colorado. His news release follows the jump:
Colorado • Economics • Energy • Politics • Read More
Tom Tancredo will announce cabinet officers Saturday
In a smart bid for free media, "conservative independent" Tom Tancredo announced that tomorrow he will disclose the names of the people he would appoint to his cabinet if he won the gubernatorial race against John Hickenlooper in the Nov. 2 election.
Colorado • Economics • Employers • Energy • Politics • Read More
Scott McInnis, Dan Maes do themselves no good in Denver Post interviews
How maddening. Both Scott McInnis and Dan Maes have blown opportunities to sell themselves in today’s Denver Post. When you’re interviewed by the editorial board of a newspaper, show some respect by doing your home work, preparing for predictable questions and taking clear stands on tough issues. Be articulate.
Both interviews were way too short to give the candidates time and space to discuss the issues in depth. That’s the difference between a space-limited printed newspaper and a blog, where space is unlimited.
A conversation with Scott McInnis. Denver Post editorial board transcript.
A conversation with Dan Maes. Denver Post editorial board transcript.
McInnis’ record shows slow steps to the right. By Karen E. Crummy.
Gubernatorial candidate McInnis’ voting record inconsistent on abortion. By Karen E. Crummy.
Colorado • Budget • Energy • Interviews, Audience Questions, Answers • Legislation • Politics • PPC • Economy • Education • Permalink
Scott McInnis notes all top Colorado Democrats live in Denver
Scott McInnis lives in Grand Junction near Colorado’s western border, and he noted in his speech to the Highlands Ranch Republican breakfast today that all of the state’s top Democrats live within the Denver city limits. McInnis, the Republican’s presumptive nominee to run for governor against Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, said that Hick, Governor Bill Ritter, Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, General Assembly committee chairmen and some vice chairmen all live in Denver or Metro Denver.
This little jab at Hickenlooper was about as hard as McInnis got in his standard spiel, which he’s had to edit since the mayor became the Democrats’ candidate, replacing Ritter who decided that he won’t run for a second term.
When he accused Ritter and Democrats of killing Colorado jobs by driving natural gas exploration companies out of the state and by raising taxes, McInnis always pointed out that while Ritter and General Assembly Democrats raised taxes and imposed tough, costly regulations on natural gas companies, “the Mayor sat across the street” and didn’t try to stop them even though they affected jobs in Denver. McInnis didn’t mention Hickenlooper by name.
Although McInnis didn’t explicitly promise to not raise taxes or pledge to support TABOR as directly as he did a couple weeks ago at a Castle Rock Republican breakfast, he blasted Democrats in the General Assembly for raising taxes in 13 bills by eliminating tax exemptions and credits during the recession.
Colorado • Budget • Employers • Energy • Politics • Permalink
Almost 2,800 energy, climate and environmental lobbyists are writing checks for Congressmen
Although leading members of Congress are telling the White House to shelve the cap and trade bill until 2011, almost 2,800 lobbyists for alternative energy, traditional energy, energy consuming and other companies are gearing up to fill the campaign coffers of Congressmen. Whether they are fighting for government subsidies and regulations that would make otherwise uneconomic alternative energy companies great investments or they are protecting oil and coal producers, the lobbyists stand to make a killing helping politicians further distort the U.S. and world economies. Because Colorado is an important natural gas, oil and coal producing state, it will be affected by these battles. Of course, with five lobbyists for every member of Congress, the best way for a lobbyist to gain access to a member is to contribute to his or her campaign. Votes are for sale and money talks. Politico’s impact graphs:
Colorado • Energy • Stocks • Energy Stocks • Read More
Scott McInnis says all Colorado Congressmen will be Democrats if Bill Ritter is re-elected
Former U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis said that if he does not beat Governor Bill Ritter next year, there will not be any Colorado Republicans in Congress after the Democrats re-Gerrymander the state in 2011. Not even the safe GOP seats in Colorado Springs (CD-5) or in South suburban Denver (CD-6) will stay in Republicans’ hands, he warned about 50 listeners at the Longmont Republican Women’s luncheon today. Republicans hold two of Colorado’s seven U.S. House seats and both Senate seats.
McInnis also said:
Colorado • Budget • Economics • Energy • Politics • Read More
Exxon expanding Colorado natural gas holdings, buying XTO
The natural gas markets and Colorado must look pretty good long-term to Exxon, which many call the best managed energy company in the world. Exxon, which already operates in Colorado, is acquiring another natural gas company that has extensive operations here, XTO Energy Inc., Fort Worth.
XOM fell sharply yesterday while a Colorado-based natural gas stock, Berry Petroelum (BRY) and Colorado-based Whiting Petroleum (WLL) rose. Here are charts for XOM, XTO, BRY and WLL. Click on a chart for hourly, weekly and point and figure charts.
XOM’s charts have turned bearish. BRY looks moderately bullish, and WLL looks quite bullish.
I don’t own these stocks.
Colorado • Energy • Stocks • Energy Stocks • Read More
Will Bill Ritter throw good money after bad on costly wind turbine maker?
Governor Bill Ritter has made a big deal of new “green jobs” in Colorado, which the state has subsidized without regard to the economics of businesses like those that make wind-turbines that generate electricity on wind farms.
Now the smart criminal lawyer and former district attorney is learning a little about economics. When products don’t sell, companies lay off workers even if they’ve been started with financial help from Colorado’s taxpayers. Take Vestas, for example. The wind turbine maker has furloughed most of its 500 employees at its Windsor plant, and has frozen hiring for two new plants that are under construction in Brighton. The company says these are temporary setbacks, but only time will tell. It’s better to make Colorado a good place for all businesses to thrive instead of subsidizing individual companies that can run into hard times without notice.
Colorado • Economics • Employers • Energy • Politics • Permalink
Highly politicized government investments in “green jobs” are distorting energy markets
When governments get involved in markets by subsidizing some players and leaving others to twist in the wind, the failures of centralized, Soviet-style planning show how smart people make dumb decisions every time.
The “brains” behind the Obama administration’s green jobs initiatives are making highly politicized government investments in renewable energy projects backed by General Electric and
Carbon dioxide critical for crop growth, saving water
While Gorean global warming alarmists are demanding that the amount of carbon dioxide particles in the atmosphere be kept below 350 parts per million, climate scientists have found that the more carbon dioxide the better when it comes to growing crops and saving water, which is in short supply around the world, according to Steven D. Levitt, a University of Chicago economist. Levitt co-authored Super Freakonomics with Stephen J. Dubner.
In short, politicians like Governor Bill Ritter, President Barack Obama, Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall and Reps. Diana DeGette, John Salazar and Jared Polis are barking up the wrong trees with their advocacy of alternative energy, carbon cap and tax legislation and government-subsidized green jobs that aren’t so green.
In chapter five of his new book, Levitt quotes some of the most famous scientists and experts on the world’s climate. They point out that not only is carbon dioxide highly beneficial to agriculture, but also that it accounts for only 2% of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Water vapor accounts for more than 50% of greenhouse gases, but scientists won’t be able to accurately measure it’s impact on global warming for another 10 or more years.
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