Romney-Ryan Campaign Talks Energy Independence, Both Parties Weigh In
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- The Romney-Ryan campaign bus stopped in Grand Junction this week as part of a four-day tour across Colorado. The topic was Mitt Romney's energy plan, which aims to achieve energy independence in North America by 2020.
The campaign wants volunteers to highlight Romney's plan to strengthen the middle class.
Rep. Ray Scott, R-HD 55, spoke at the event. He said, "Energy is the heart of what makes our country move, and he really gets that. You don't find oil wells in downtown Denver, you don't find them in New York City."
Rep. Don Coram, R-HD 58, said, "In Western Colorado, we have all the resources in the world ... oil, coal, gas. We can actually be the real energy source of Colorado."
Some points on Mitt Romney's agenda include: opening up more federal lands and waters to oil and gas drilling, opening offshore areas for energy development and building pipelines like Keystone XL.
Here are the anticipated results: more than three million jobs, more than $1 trillion in revenue for federal, state and local governments, and lower energy prices for job creators and middle-class families.
"This plan will make us energy dependent. It may even make us an exporting country," said Scott.
Those on the opposing side are not convinced that Romney’s plan is feasible.
Marshall Martin, a retired geophysicist for Chevron Oil Company, said, "To increase offshore production in the United States, first you have to discover it, then you have to prove it, then you have to develop it. And that takes anywhere from 10 to 20 years."
Both parties are being vocal on environmental impacts.
Dan Robinson, candidate for House District 55, said, "We want energy development. We don't want it at the expense of our public health. We want jobs, but we don't want jobs at the expense of bad water."
Jack Hayes, president and owner of Resource West Incorporated, also spoke at the campaign event Monday morning. He said, "I ride my horses and mules and I hunt. The last thing I'm going to do is destroy the environment in Western Colorado."
Jobs are another key talking point.
"One drilling rig, you can figure about 250 jobs," Scott said.
"Once the wells are drilled, the people leave, so we have a boom and bust economy, which I feel the Republican Party of Western Colorado has become addicted to," said Marshall.
When it comes down to it, both sides agree energy development is crucial, but the debate on which road to take will continue being a hot topic.
The Romney-Ryan campaign bus has already stopped in Silt, Montrose and Durango. It headed to Gunnison after leaving Grand Junction on Monday.