Penry: “We Study Too Much”

We can’t let this weekend report from the Summit Daily News slip away unmentioned:

With demographers forecasting 35 percent more people in Colorado by 2035 and climate scientists predicting 15 percent less water available in the Colorado River Basin by mid-century, something has to give.

More and more, public officials, business groups and environmental organization have been talking about additional dams and reservoirs to augment those built in the mid-20th century.

“The water inheritance is running out,” said Josh Penry, the minority leader in the Colorado Senate, in a speech at the summer meeting of the Colorado Water Congress, a consortium of water providers. “Colorado needs to embark on a new round” of storage construction.

“We study too much. We analyze too much,” added Penry, who is from Grand Junction and a Republican candidate for governor…

Well, we can understand why gubernatorial candidate Josh Penry feels like we “study too much.” Penry probably felt that way when the numbers he used to throw around showing that the state new drilling rules were “driving business out” were proven to be false. And giving a speech before the Colorado Water Congress of all places, calling for a “new round” of water projects, one can certainly imagine why Penry would not want what he said ‘analyzed.’

Because it was just last year at this time when the very same Josh Penry was headlining support for the failed Amendment 52, which would have diverted money from water projects to transportation:

Amendment 52 diverts money that would help meet Colorado’s rapidly growing water demand and maintain its aging water supply system. Half of the money shifted to highway projects under this measure would be available under current law to provide loans and grants for water projects, water conservation, and other programs. A recent study indicated that current and planned water supply projects are likely to meet about 80 percent of the estimated new demand between 2004 and 2030. By shifting over $100 million in the next four years from water projects to transportation projects, Amendment 52 hurts the state’s ability to meet long-term water supply needs.

If the two facts cited above appear to make no sense whatsoever in tandem, almost as if you can’t possibly imagine the same person so plainly straddling both sides of such an important issue in so little elapsed time…clearly, in Josh Penry’s view you “study too much.”


40 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Fidel's dirt nap says:

    W hasn’t been out of the White House a year yet.  We’re still feeling the after effects from this massive hangover from our stupidity binge.  Think of it like wearing dress whites after labor day.

    May take another year or so before America is back into stupid full swing. In the meantime, study on.

  2. Danny the Red (hair)Danny the Red (hair) says:

    I figured he was explaining why he went to Mesa State not School of Mines.

    I mean no disrespect, but I don’t think he has ever “studied” water or “analyzed” energy.

  3. Barron X says:


    in a way that completely changes the meaning ?

    If you can’t catch him with actual quotes, …. make ……. some …. thing ….[u]p.


    • J-Rock says:

      At which point you would find that Pols included the entire Penry quote as it appeared in SDN.  There is nothing more from Penry in the entire article.

      Maybe, instead of “guessing” and using that to make an accusation, you could try and use some evidence.  

      Or, do the Republicans not like evidence because it always shows the hypocrisy and downright lies in their statements?

    • MADCO says:

      if Senator Penry is quoted correctly, he looks like the two-faced idiot Pols suggests.

      see for yourself-

      BTW- if the Senator is going to run a water storage campaign, I’ll give him + points for courage, if not also for political stupidity.

      The point of the article, and most water storage studies is….well here’s two lines from the article that just about nail it:

      Coloradans in the future, as is already the case, can be expected to congregate along the urbanized Front Range corridor. More than three-quarters of the state’s residents currently live in a narrow swath less than 200 miles long. The State Demographer’s Office projects that the population, now at 5 million, by 2035 will nudge 7.8 million – an increase roughly the existing size of metropolitan Denver-Boulder.


      Colorado’s big question mark remains the urban Front Range corridor, especially Denver’s southern suburbs that overwhelmingly rely upon underground water that has become steadily more difficult to extract.

      In short- water supplies are going to be increasingly stressed by population growth and most of that population growth will be in the front range.

      But not to get into study and analysis– the point was the quote as presented makes JP look like an idiot. Barron will now show us how the quotes were misused and perhaps how JP is smarter than we all thought/think

  4. Ellie says:

    Penry has been posturing for years and playing his audiences for all it’s worth. The Capitol press corp has given him a free ride.  Now inquiring minds around the state seem to be questioning his conflicting views.  It’s about damn time.  

  5. One Queer Dude says:

    …when Ronald Reagan shared with us his views that trees and bushes are responsible for most of our air pollution, and cutting taxes while maintaiing is a good way to balance a budget.

      Studies lead to too much information which can overload the modern GOP brain.

  6. Raphael says:

    It also seems to me like this could be a back-handed jab at Ritter, setting up the stage for a “Blue Ribbon Ritter” attack down the road. If he wants to position himself as the candidate of action vs. the governor of indecisiveness (regardless of the merits of either charge), that would seem to be an apt political strategy.

  7. Yeah, Pols…Penry is way off.  This governor has done an excellent job furthering the cause of water storage in Colorado.  Hiring that climate change advisor is really making a tremendous difference.

    Are you guys kidding?  What in the hell has Bill Ritter done to store and use Colorado’s water?  

    As to your efforts to debunk Penry’s assertion that “we study too much” you’d all be well served to google Animas La Plata to learn how long it can take to permit a no-brainer water project.  

    • MADCO says:

      You call it a no-brainer, plenty of voters would call it political death.

    • MADCO says:

      If this signals JP’s shift to a water storage campaign, I’m all for it.  It’s a political discussion we have to have some time, might as well be now while we still have some water.

    • Fidel's dirt nap says:

      was Josh Penry for water projects before he was against them, or against them before he was before them ?

      Just for the sake of clarity…

      I think the phrase “mealy mouthed politician” is really going to bite this guy in the ass.

    • Republican 36 says:

      He apparently supports such transfers. Say that on the West Slope and see what happens to his support there.

      • Some small part of me was hoping no-one would verbalize the reality of his statement: water storage == water transport == stealing the West Slope’s water.

        Ref. A was a political disaster that was before Penry’s rise, but if he wants to spend some time basking in that particular aged limelight, I think we should let him.

  8. Republican 36 says:

    As Pols points out, Mr. Penry wants new water projects constructed immediately but just a few short months ago he sponsored and supported an initiative to redirect funds into the state constitution for road construction on the I-70 corridor, from funds earmarked for the construction and maintenance of water projects.

    Mr. Penry exhibits one troubling attitude and second, a very troubling lack of morality. First, he disrespects all of us as voters.  He believes we can be easily misled. He takes us for fools. He is exhibiting a level of arrogance that is beyond normal.

    Second, Mr. Penry lacks moral clarity. He not only takes opposite positions depending on what audience he is in front of, he takes isolated facts and constructs assertions that are easily deflated and debunked once all the facts are presented (e.g. who hires employees at Colorado colleges and universities). His attacks are based on assertions he knows aren’t true because of his five years in the General Assembly. Individuals with even a moderate sense of morality wouldn’t base their campaign on such assertions.

    What the greatest Republican of all said may seem trite and over used today but when Mr. Penry’s assertions are measured against what Abraham Lincoln said he can only be judged as a poor candidate for public office. “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” Mr. Penry should learn that attacking his own credibility isn’t the way to win an election.  

    • BlueCat says:

      W could have really used your help when he was trying to spit that quote out.  Where were you?

    • gertie97 says:

      He’s from Mesa County, where voters have time and time again voted against their own best interests at the behest of politicians like Penry who tell them they can have something for nothing.

      As for moral clarity, I don’t think Penry even knows the meaning of the term.

    • WesternSlopeThought says:

      Can anyone remember a Colorado politician as blatantly dishonest as Josh Penry?  I believe that his deception will only get worse as he gets more and more desperate.

      This is who Josh Penry is, folks.  He may believe that the rest of Colorado is as naive and easily fooled as his Mesa County backers but he is due for a rude awakening.  Penry is everything Americans dislike in a politician.

      I agree with R36.  And the media, for the most part, have not been reporting a lot of Penry’s deceit.  It may be because Penry, until his recent abandonment of his constituency in pursuit of ego satisfaction, has been isolated in GJ.   But as the elections near, I believe media outlets, with the exception of The Daily Sentinel, of course, will indeed start reporting on what a danger Penry is to Colorado, just to maintain their own credibility.  Only then will Penry’s Balloon Daddy campaign become anaerobic.

      “Is anyone else here tired of the flimflam, mealy-mouthed Republican?” –Josh Penry

  9. Automaticftp says:

    I would think that with so many people considering Gov. Ritter to be vulnerable, that there would be more, and more substantial, candidates to run for the nomination.  I note Mr. McInnis is in the race, and it appears that all he would have to do to secure the nomination is to let Mr. Penry continue his assault on reason.  Others have documented Mr. McInnis’ challenges elsewhere, so I won’t repeat them, but how can the GOP take Mr. Penry as a serious candidate?

  10. ajb says:

    Penry will soon have some of the most powerful interest groups in Colorado at each others throats.

    Why? Because water is for fighting.

    Ag? Water storage projects get built to benefit urban areas along the Front Range. that means less water in rivers for irrigation.

    Oil? Have you seen any of the estimates for how much water will be used in oil shale development?

    Industry? High tech industry is incredibly water intensive. No water? No high tech.


    Ha. No water, no jobs building houses.

    Powerful out-of-state interests? The No Damn Dams interests will get lots of help from all of our downstream neighbors.

    And one last point, all the best places for dams already have them. Building new dams is going to be incredibly expensive and not very efficient, with or without lots of study and analysis. As a result, it will take NEW TAXES to pay for them. Good luck selling that one.

    This will make Bennett/Romanoff look like todlers in a sand box.

  11. Penry is saying all sorts of absurd things, hoping something sticks.  Folks like Rep. Joel Judd have actual workable concrete ideas:

    • parsingreality says:

      “If it works, keep it.”

      “If it doesn’t work, scrap it.”

      Joel Judd is an alumni of Sarasota’s New College, the state of Florida’s brainiac (and liberal) school for high achievers.

      They turned down my application……

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