Scott Tipton Attack On Gail Schwartz Over Coal Crash Crashes

UPDATE: From Gail Schwartz’s campaign via the Twitters:


Rep. Scott Tipton (R).

Rep. Scott Tipton (R).

As the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports, GOP incumbent Rep. Scott Tipton is feeling the heat from Democratic challenger Gail Schwartz, firing off a new attack ad against Schwartz meant to hurt her with pro-energy voters on the Western Slope.

The first problem is, it’s wrong:

“Unfortunately, Delta County, Colorado, has taken the brunt of Gail Schwartz’s tenure in the state Senate,” Tipton said in a press briefing. “Instead of representing her constituents, she did go to Denver and took her orders from someone else. She sided with climate alarmists in Denver and Aspen, pushing renewable energy policies that are directly responsible for the loss of over a thousand coal mining jobs and a 12 percent decrease in tax revenues in Delta County alone.”

Problem is, that bill, SB252, wasn’t about coal, at least not directly.

The bill doubled the state’s renewable energy standard for rural electric associations, meaning they had to generate at least 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources. For-profit utilities in the state have a 30 percent standard.

As Ashby correctly reports, the Delta-Montrose Electric Association supported increasing the renewable energy standard in 2013, and has boosted its production via renewables exactly as was hoped when Senate Bill 13-252 was passed. As locals already know, Delta County coal mines have shut down for a variety of reasons, including fires and a global glut of coal on the market–not anything the legislature did. And it gets even worse:

Tipton also cited HB1365 for hurting the coal industry, which the Legislature approved in 2010. That measure called for converting some Front Range coal-fired power plants to burn natural gas instead, a bill Schwartz voted for that Tipton opposed.

Two prime sponsors of the bill were Western Slope Republicans Sen. Josh Penry of Grand Junction and then Rep. Ellen Roberts of Durango. [Pols emphasis]

As we’ve discussed previously, attacks on Gail Schwartz over the landmark Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act to convert coal-fired power plants along the Front Range to natural gas ignore that it was a bipartisan initiative that passed with heavy Republican support. The plan was passed in part to address declining air quality along the Front Range that may well have forced federal action, and the only people against it were in the employ of not the energy industry–but one small part of the energy business in Colorado (coal) in competition with a much larger energy business (natural gas). And natural gas, with both parties voting in unison, won the battle.

Talk-radio ignorance aside, everyone who understands the issues here knows these hits on Schwartz over the coal industry’s problems are bogus. Coal is in permanent decline as an energy source, just like horses and buggies made way for automobiles.

And that means it’s time for Scott Tipton to get some new material.

29 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. PKolbenschlag says:

    One thing SB252 did was allow coalmine methane capture/conversion to count in the RES, which in turn allowed Bill Koch's Oxbow mine (closed due to a mine fire and not because of ANY legislation or policy) to develop the first-of-its-kind (west of the Mississippi) power plant and sell that power to Aspen Ski Company

    Tipton is peddling lies and it shows how terribly desperate he is.  Real estate is booming in the North Fork, realtors are reporting bidding wars, new businesses are opening on Grand Ave (Paonia's main business strip) and on Bridge Street in Hotchkiss (same).  

    What's particularly evil is that our community is working very hard to diversify our economy, to highlight what is positive and how we are moving forward in a difficult time, and Rep. Tipton is kicking us in the teeth. 


    Wineries busy, exports increasing, markets bustling. Bizs relocating here & renovating bldgs #copolitics @reptipton

    — PKolbenschlag (@PKolbenschlag) September 9, 2016


  2. PKolbenschlag says:

    #NorthFork's craft brewery. Many businesses in town are reporting their best year ever @RepTipton. #copolitics

  3. PKolbenschlag says:

    I work closely with businesses in the Valley.  Wineries, restaurants, markets and real estate offices are reporting one of their best years ever.   

  4. PKolbenschlag says:

    The then-head of the Colorado Oil and Gas Assoc shows her support for the Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act–sponsored in the CO Senate by Josh Penry. 

    There really are no words that can adequately describe the level of gross dissembling being perpetrated by the North Fork's congressman, to save his tax funded gig at our expense. 

    • PKolbenschlag says:

      Of course oil and gas companies are among Mr. Tipton's largest donors, and natural gas is the primary factor in declining coal markets. Thus Mr. Tipton's ad is not only grossly misleading in almost all its points, but it is misdirection as well.  

  5. PKolbenschlag says:

    I'm sending another check to Gail Schwartz, she visits our valley regularly. We have yet to see Mr. Tipton at any type of public event. 

    • Duke Cox says:

      I'm guessing you will see him there no more than once, if at all, before the election, PK. There are few legislators more thoroughly sold out than our CD3 congressman, and he knows who his friends are,,,and aren't. If he visits, he will stay down valley in Delta. He has buddies there.

      Of course, he will attempt to defend himself by trying to tag his opponent with his own transgressions. Not a new trick, but then Tipton isn't much of an innovator. 

    • Voyageur says:


      I just called your check for Gail Schwartz and raised you $50 for Morgan Carroll.  

      wouldn't it be great if they both won?

      • PKolbenschlag says:

        Excellent V. You're alright, I don't care what they say.  wink

        They would be great additions to the Colorado delegation, the U.S. House of Representatives, and chipping away at the glass ceiling. 



      • itlduso says:

        The candidates I'm sending checks to this cycle are Morgan Carroll, Gail Schwartz, Daniel Kagan, and Tom Sullivan.  We don't go to church, so we consider these contributions to be in lieu of church donations.  If these candidates win, I'd wager they'd accomplish more for humanity than any church.

  6. PKolbenschlag says:

    This building, in Delta (not the North Fork itself) has been shuttered for decades. Decades. Mr. Tipton's ad is full of lies and he ought to be ashamed of himself. 

    • PKolbenschlag says:

      The shuttered grocery store in the ad has also been abandoned many years. Its truly despicable.  

      • PKolbenschlag says:

        And Pete Poulos' barber shop closed (on Grand Ave) because he passed at a ripe age, a loved and well-respected man in the community. It had nothing to do with the coal mines closing–indeed it predated the first closure at Oxbow (due to a mine fire). 

        It appears that almost nothing in the ad holds up to scrutiny.  I hope it gets fact checked. 

        • PKolbenschlag says:

          Also of the "three gas stations" that used to be in Hotchkiss? The Maverick closed about 8 years ago when all three coal mines were at top production, the Conoco closed about 5 years ago when all mines were in production. Everything about this ad is a lie. 

        • buford2 says:

          yeah…Pete was a good friend of mine…I worked with his son at the West Elk Mine…Tipton is a liar, and a stooge of the Big Oily folks…Bill Koch, has tried to screw our County, and Gunnison County time and time again…Now, he has pushed BLM to open up a pristine water shed to drilling and fracking, and Tipton supports this…there is no question about Scott Tipton's loyalty, it is questionable to WHOM he is loyal..

          Paonia, is my home…I will not leave…we have been dominated by republicans in Delta county for far too long…we have some great candidates running for County Commissioners…it is time to throw these bums out…

          • PKolbenschlag says:

            It is a difficult time for the valley, transitions usually are. We need to stand together and build on our many assets, which forward-thinking people are doing.  Tipton ought to be ashamed for sowing division at this time. We do have some good BoCC candidates, and a great candidate for US House in Gail Schwartz, who unlike Tipton actually comes and meets with the people here. 

  7. MichaelBowman says:

    Brought to us by the same folks who want to 'Keep Electricity Affordable' (*wink* *wink*) and funded the idiot 'War on Rural Colorado' campaign (you'll be shocked to find out this entire report was….wait… a lie).

    They are shameless. 

  8. MichaelBowman says:

    Thanks to visionaries like Gail while she served in the CO Senate, the Clean Air, Clean Jobs Act set the stage for projects like this. (even Brophy supported the legislation). 

    We won't build a 21st-century economy burning dinosaur dung. The Rush Creek project will use Vestas turbines made right here in Colorado by our own fellow citizens.  Good jobs, the rural counties get a new tax base (while barely lifting a finger) and the Front Range residents get clean, low-cost power.

    Win(d). Win(d). Win(d).

    Colorado's biggest wind farm proposal gets big backing

    A proposal to build Colorado’s biggest wind farm, a 600-megawatt behemoth that would sprawl across several eastern counties, has received major support from a dozen interested parties.

    Eves said the Rush Creek wind farm “will provide low-cost energy to our customers, and it adds a clean, renewable generation resource to the state that will help us meet potential federal and state air quality mandates.”

    Xcel said the parties to the settlement announced Tuesday include: the PUC’s trial staff; the Colorado Office of Consumer Counsel; the Colorado Energy Office; Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc.; CF&I Steel, L.P./Evraz; Interwest Energy Alliance; Colorado Energy Consumers; Southwest Generation Operating Company, LLC; Western Resource Advocates; Rocky Mountain Environmental Labor Coalition and Colorado Building Construction Trades Council, AFL-CIO; the Colorado Independent Energy Association; and the cities of Boulder and Denver.

  9. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    "she sided with climate alarmists in Denver and Aspen……."  So, I can assume that Rep. Tipton does not consider Aspen to be part of his district??  Wonder why Scott seems to not believe in the free market and capitalism at work. Can it be that he's not a real conservative?

  10. PKolbenschlag says:

    Any one know how to file an FEC complaint?  Everything about this ad is false. After the nearly Million $ we have paid this man for salary,  and the Millions we have paid for his staff, offices, travel, franking, health care, gym priveleges and fringes far beyond what most in his district can ever hope for, in three terms the question is this. Why can't Scott Tipton run on his record?

  11. PKolbenschlag says:

    Dear Editor:

    Rep. Scott Tipton’s recent attack ad on Gail Schwartz is false. That is the most charitable way to put it. The footage of abandoned buildings—empty for years or decades—have nothing to do with the recent downturn in coal mining. The implication that Hotchkiss’ loss of two of its three gas stations is also connected, is false. I challenge Mr. Tipton to explain how the Maverick closing 8 years ago –when all three mines were in top production—is related to a bill passed in 2013.

    Which gets to the nugget of the lie: that SB252, which then state Senator Gail Schwartz co-sponsored, somehow led to the mines’ closures. That bill was supported by our local electric coop and was good for our community. It increases additional incentives for projects like the first-ever (west of the Mississippi) coalmine methane power plant that captures, and coverts to power, methane that continues to escape from these mines, whether open or closed. That project was built in partnership with numerous entities, including the Oxbow Mine, where it is located. 

    After 6 years in office, at a total tax-funded salary of nearly $1 Million dollars, Tipton should have a record to run on. Apparently he doesn’t and instead must run by spreading falsehoods. I support Gail Schwartz for Congress. She has visited the valley many times, and wants to help move us forward. That Tipton chooses to divide us in this difficult time makes him unfit for that office.

    Pete Kolbenschlag, Paonia

    • buford2 says:

      Hey Pete…I totally agree with you…Tipton must go…Tipton is as corrupt as one can get without being arrested…oh wait, political bribery is now legal. the koch brothers are moving in, while Billy Bob Koch is pushing for Drilling and Fracking in our pristine water sheds…

      I am retired from coal mining…I spent many years in the mines…Tipton is a liar…I know Gail, and she is a great person…honest, and smart…I will do what it takes to help her get elected, along with Millie Hamner…

  12. Duke Cox says:


    this claim….

    the only people against it were in the employ of not the energy industry–but one small part of the energy business in Colorado (coal) in competition with a much larger energy business (natural gas). And natural gas, with both parties voting in unison, won the battle. 

    is completely true and accurate. The Clean Air, Clean Skies Act was passed to keep the city of Denver and the "Big Three " front range O&G companies from getting in trouble with the EPA. Republican support of the bill came because they were instructed to support it by the Colorado Petroleum Association. 

    Colorado Republicans (with the exception of a few who were directly supporting their coal country constituents) were perfectly happy to throw the coal industry dependent, rural communities under the bus at the behest of Anadarko, Encana, etc. O&G writes bigger checks.

    Scott Tipton is the worst kind of legislator….phony. Anyone who trusts the man deserves what they get.

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