Udall booed by some at Club 20 debate in Grand Junction

Political fireworks punctuated a meeting of the Western Slope advocacy group Club 20 in Grand Junction over the weekend, with Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mark Udall being booed by some audience members who were clearly more supportive of his Republican opponent, Bob Schaffer, according to the Grand Junction Free Press.

Udall and Schaffer were on hand Saturday for a debate before the membership of a group some critics say has become increasingly conservative and supportive of the oil and gas industry. Club 20 also made headlines for withdrawing its support for Amendment 52 on the statewide November ballot.

That ballot question asks voters to approve using oil and gas severance taxes for road and bridge improvements. According to the Associated Press, Club 20 backed off because its board felt the funds would be focused too narrowly on Interstate 70 and would also take money away from other areas such as water-improvement projects.

Also speaking to Club 20 members in Grand Junction, Democratic Sen. Ken Salazar said developing a diverse array of energy sources will make the country energy-independent in the near future, but he argued there still needs to be much more study on the amount of energy and water oil-shale production will take before heading too far down that road.

“I do believe we will move forward with what will be the moon shot on energy independence after the next president is elected,” Salazar said, according to the Free Press. Udall echoed Salazar’s feeling on oil-shale production later in the day, but Schaffer argued the Democrats are stalling on that front.