It’s all over the news and blogs: According to campaign manager Dick Wadhams, Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Bob Schaffer backs Gov. Bill Ritter’s plan for phased oil and gas development on the Roan Plateau. But how hard is it to board a train when it has already left the station?Major media outlets and political pundits were quick to negate any differences between the Schaffer campaign and that of his Democratic opponent, Rep. Mark Udall, on the Roan Plateau drilling issue.
For those in the front row seat at the Roan Plateau drilling controversy, however, Schaffer should have expressed his Roan position during the Bureau of Land Management’s comment period last year. Or during the 120 days when Ritter was working on his alternative Roan drilling plan. Or Schaffer should have supported Udall and Rep. John Salazar’s bill to place a year-long moratorium on the BLM drilling decision. To wait until after the BLM and the White House have nixed all other drilling proposals for the Roan Plateau, Schaffer’s stance is as reliable as an Amtrak train schedule.
Schaffer’s campaign may have fooled some Front Range media about his “official” position to limit drilling on this unique environmental area, but for those voting in oil and gas country, Schaffer may be laying down tracks for the train out of town.
A truck related to the oil and gas industry travels down a Rifle highway at the base of the Roan Plateau. By Leslie Robinson