Denver, CO – Today, Environment Colorado endorsed U.S. Rep. Mark Udall for the U.S. Senate citing his record of leadership in building the New Energy Economy as the energy debate in this race heats up.
“Our nation is at a crossroads on energy policy, and we need a bold new direction. This is not the time to beat around the bush. . . From the starting line to the finish line, Mark Udall is Colorado’s champion to build the New Energy Economy, and now more than ever we need to aggressively move in this direction,” said Pam Kiely, Legislative Program Director of Environment Colorado.
“When the going gets tough in Congress, he’s been the go-to guy on renewable energy, and now is the time for the bold action and the new solutions that Rep. Udall brings to the table,” continued Kiely.
His career so far has produced a consistently strong environmental record. Rep. Udall has a lifetime environmental voting record of 99 percent according to the League of Conservation Voters, and scored 100 percent in 2008 according to Environment Colorado.
While in the Colorado state legislature in the late nineties Udall was a forerunner in the effort to pass a state renewable energy standard. In the fall of 2004, he co-chaired the Amendment 37 campaign with the Republican Speaker of Colorado’s House of Representatives, Lola Spradley. Thanks to Udall’s leadership and others, voters across the state rallied together, and on Election Day passed the first-ever citizen initiated renewable energy standard in the country.
“Udall was right there with the environmental community. He campaigned for clean energy from Colorado’s windy eastern plains to the solar valleys of the San Luis Valley and beyond,” said Kiely. “He built bridges across the partisan divide and worked with key allies in agriculture to pass Amendment 37. Mark Udall knows the people of this state. He is ready to stand with Coloradans in their commitment to clean energy.”
Udall is also a strong supporter of action to combat global warming. In the first session of the 110th Congress alone, Udall supported raising fuel efficiency for automobiles, repealing subsidies for oil companies and creating a national renewable electricity standard. Also in 2007, Udall introduced legislation to create an Office of Global Climate Change Research Information.
In stark contrast, Udall’s opponent, former Congressman Bob Schaffer, has demonstrated strong allegiance to the oil and gas industry. The oil and gas industry was a top supporter of Shaffer while he was in Congress, giving him over $75,000 in contributions according to a recent League of Conservation Voters analysis. In return, he voted to give more than $33 billion in subsidies to Big Oil companies and consistently fought measures to increase fuel economy in automobiles. With Schaffer’s lifetime League of Conservation Voters five percent score, he was clearly an abysmal Congressman for the environment.
“Bob Schaffer left an abysmal environmental record in Congress, voting against real solutions to our energy crisis like increased fuel efficiency in automobiles. His brand of leadership is what got us into this mess in the first place,” said Kiely. “Coloradans can’t afford to have another U.S. Senator that sides with the oil industry over the interests of our environment and our state.”
When given the choice between our environment and Big Oil, Schaffer voted for Big Oil every time—as the energy debate heats up nationwide, Coloradans need to know they have a senator who represents their commitment to developing this country’s renewable resources,” continued Kiely.
Environment Colorado has also endorsed Betsy Markey for the 4th Congressional District and Barak Obama for President. Environment Colorado’s national federation, Environment America, has prepared a report on the environmental records of both presidential candidates, including their lifetime environmental voting records, which is available athttp://www.environmentamerica.org/issues/election-2008.
Environment Colorado is committed to working in Colorado and with our federation of state organizations to mount an aggressive effort to secure a victory for Mark Udall, Betsy Markey, and Barack Obama including grassroots outreach to our members and the public.
“For real solutions to global warming and the level of investment in Colorado’s vast renewable resources that we need to build a new energy future, Mark Udall is hands down the best choice for U.S. Senate,” said Kiely.