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August 01, 2008 04:25 PM UTC

Schaffer, Udall Continue Sparring Over Energy

  • by: Colorado Pols

The intense fighting between Senate candidates Bob Schaffer and Mark Udall over energy policy went on yesterday, with each pointing the finger at the other as “responsible” for $4-a-gallon gas–and Schaffer continuing to hammer Udall for “deliberately” missing a vote to adjourn Congress earlier in the week.

Both candidates argued their cases forcefully yesterday on AM630 KHOW’s Caplis and Silverman. We were forwarded these audio clips from their separate interviews:…

Bob Schaffer on C&S, 7/31/08 (8:10)…

Mark Udall on C&S, 7/31/08 (5:32)

And as the Rocky Mountain News reports:

Democratic Senate candidate Mark Udall said subsidies and tax breaks for the oil-and-gas industry should be redirected into future technologies, such as new kinds of energy-efficient cars.

Udall pored over reports released Thursday that showed that energy companies made nearly a $40 billion profit in the last quarter.

“They are making $300,000 a minute while Colorado families are struggling to pay for gas and food,” Udall said.

Udall, a five-term congressman, has stressed his record of pushing for energy alternatives throughout his career, while noting that his opponent, Republican Bob Schaffer, worked as an oil and gas executive.

Schaffer’s campaign manager, Dick Wadhams, ripped Udall.

“Boulder liberal Udall and his environmentalist extremist allies have systematically killed domestic energy exploration for the past 10 years, which has driven the cost of gas to $4 a gallon,” Wadhams said…

Udall has been critical of Schaffer’s support for tax breaks for the industry.

Udall also noted that Schaffer, President Bush and Vice President Cheney have a policy of “drill, drill, drill” without including other alternatives.

“You need the oil industry. You need the oil executives,” Udall said.

“You don’t need the oil energy executives writing the next energy policy for the country.”

In today’s Denver Post, reporter Michael Riley explores the issue thoughtfully:

As high gas prices have shifted the political landscape, the oil industry is suddenly in sight of gains it’s been after from Washington for decades, even as America’s biggest oil company announced that it is now making $5 million in profit every hour of every day.

At the heart of the apparent contradiction lies the GOP’s biggest gamble of the election year: Even though gas prices have risen dramatically under a Republican White House, one largely sympathetic to the industry, the pain drivers are feeling at the gas pump can be laid at Democrats’ door.

It’s unconventional, even audacious. And it seems to be working…

“Americans just want something done about this problem. . . . They don’t want to go back over what’s already happened, whether the Bush administration has screwed things up,” said Karlyn Bowman, an expert on public opinion at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington.

“I think that public has been rethinking the energy issue. You’re definitely seeing some movement in the direction of more drilling,” she said.

But there are kinks in the armor, and Thursday’s profit reports by oil companies may be one example.

Exxon Mobil announced that it made $11.7 billion last quarter, the largest quarterly profit of any American corporation in history. Last year, the revenues of the top five oil companies combined totaled $1.5 trillion, more than the gross domestic product of Canada.

The success of the Republican strategy, tied as it is to support for domestic drilling and industry tax breaks, turns on whether voters see oil companies as key to U.S. energy independence or cynical corporations laughing all the way to the bank.

Democrats are pushing to make the case for the latter…

It was clear that energy as a campaign issue was coming to a head last week. It appears the Democrats have no intention of capitulating, however strong Republicans feel their argument is. At the same time, polls show American attitudes about new drilling are changing, presenting a challenge to Democrats to show voters how their approach is better, and how GOP talking points on the issue are duplicitous. Who will win the battle over energy, and with it perhaps the 2008 elections? A poll follows.

Can Democrats reframe energy away from the GOP?

View Results

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17 thoughts on “Schaffer, Udall Continue Sparring Over Energy

  1. But that’s contingent on either a sustained paid media campaign from the candidates, parties, or other groups that hammers home the fact that although 80% of the oil land is leased already, the oil companies are failing to drill. They also need to be informing the public that there just isn’t enough oil for drilling to have any sort of impact.

    It’s sad that the news media will only report what Dick Wadhams says versus what Taylor West says. A competent reporter would look at the numbers and make a statement of fact: we can’t drill our way to energy independence. There’s just not enough oil to do it. We can’t even drill our way to lower prices.

    The only thing that will change the price of gas is regulatory action to curb speculation, lower trade barriers for ethanol, and increase supply by releasing some of the oil we have in reserve. These are all actions the Republicans have blocked because they want your gas to remain expensive so that they have a political issue.

    It’s the same old Republican wedge-issue tactic. They fail to take action on an issue so that they can keep it alive and rail against it to swing votes. It isn’t going to work if the Democrats play their cards right.

    1. Ha ha ha ha ha!

      Are there five in the country?

      Many of the stories I read would have been sent back to the writer by Mrs. Hemlepp, my 8th grade junior high newspaper teacher.  How many lack one of the W’s?  Many.

      There was a local issue last week and they mentioned that a high school student started an online petition.  Do they give the URL?  No.  A story about a young woman opening a unique (rent the space) art gallery.  Do they give the address or the URL?  No.

      There are so many unanswered obvious questions, there are errors in math; they NEVER check what the source says.  

      “Journalism” today is a joke.  

  2. That audio is really telling. Udall is calm and reasonable, Schaffer sounds like a smarmy little punk who’s convinced he’s found the perfect grade-school insult. Pathetic.

    1. I’m serious, Democrats can run with that phrase.

      … Wadhams seeks out the spotlight. His public pronouncements are ubiquitous and brutal, and he seems to revel in the bloodletting. When Montana Republican Conrad Burns was running for reelection to the U.S. Senate and tanked in a debate with Democratic challenger Brian Schweitzer, Wadhams told an AP scribe that Schweitzer had performed like a “smart-ass thug.” Media coverage of the debate was dominated by the comment, not Burns’s lackluster showing. (Schweitzer, who lost narrowly, was later elected governor.)

        1. That’s exactly what the story says, which is why I’m recommending Democrats apply the phrase to Bob Schaffer, especially when he acts like one. Plus it’ll drive Dick crazy to hear his own phrase used against his candidate.

  3. … for the price of gasoline DROPPING by about 25 cents per gallon in the past two weeks? Did we start drilling ANWR while nobody was looking? Did we tap the national petroleum reserve?

    1. made some stern comments.

      And Congress threatened to crack down on excessive oil speculation (Republicans blocked the bill in the Senate).

      And consumption has dropped markedly in the last couple months.

      No one can explain why prices shot up so high so fast either.  

  4. http://www.americanprogress.or

    But voters don’t favor all of these ideas equally; they have clear views on which approaches they think will work best. Consider these data from a recent Quinnipiac University poll of voters in four key swing states: Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

    Voters were asked what was “the best way to help solve the energy crisis and make America less dependent on foreign oil”: new nuclear power plants; drilling offshore and in Alaska; developing renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and biofuels; releasing oil from the strategic petroleum reserve; or mandating higher mileage standards for cars.

    Developing renewable energy sources was ranked far ahead of all the other choices in all four states. In Colorado, renewable energy was deemed the best approach by 54 percent, with the second choice (drilling) far behind at 21 percent.

    Poor Mike Rosen and Dick Wadhams, two retrograde peas in a pod…

  5. Please, Americans are not stupid they know the Dems are Tree Huggers…look at Boulder, people on the East Coast and yes California, Washington, Oregon.

    You Liberals wanted that label of Tree Huggers well you have it now.  After Pelosi turned out the lights this week on drilling we now know that the Dems do not care about the “little people” who VOTE.

    If you think you can shake the Label…

    Democrats=No Drilling

    You are all wrong!

      1. when all again he can do is spout a talking point and provide no details or fact to support it.  Why did the Rethugs keep blocking the energy votes–because it wouldn’t give enough public resources away to the world’s richest industry, supported by massive American taxpayer dollars as individual companies keep posting record profits, using their proceeds to buy back stock options–so the execs can make even more–rather than re-invest in refineries or production on the massive amounts of lands they already control?  That’s your solution? Sorry, that doesn’t cut it where people actually understand the issues.  Go back to RedState and parrot your talking points back and forth.  This thread is for grown ups.  

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