Tipton calls for an ‘all of the above’ energy plan

U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton.

Interruption of speeches at Colorado Water Congress conventions with applause is rare, but then U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton is a good public speaker and he obviously struck a strong chord when he railed about the rising U.S. debt Wednesday.

“I am having a tough time getting my arms around what is a million dollars, let a alone a billion dollars and now $14.3 trillion dollars,” he said, citing the U.S. government debt.

To illustrate just how much money a trillion dollars is, Tipton, a small-business owner from Cortez, laid out a sequence of math. Basketball player LeBron James last summer signed a contract with the Miami Heat that will pay him $40 million. While that’s a lot of money, it would take James a while to make $1 trillion – 25,000 years, Tipton said. (editor’s note: James actually makes only $16 million a year, so it would take him 62,500 years to earn $1 trillion. Of course, his salary goes up every year and he will make $22 million in 2015. In any event, point taken.)

To get America back to work, Tipton said, it needs an all-of-the-above energy approach. And one of those energies should come from hydropower, which is carbon free. But to achieve that, he said, government regulations should be stripped.

One of his proposals is something he calls a regulatory impact statement. Regulations, he said, are inhibiting job growth and by requiring an impact statement for each new federal regulation, people would at least know the likely effect of a regulation before it is implemented.

Reached by email, a Tipton spokesperson said this:

Congressman Tipton is exploring ways to cut back regulation, including possible legislation that would require agencies to analyze and disclose the economic impact of regulations on small businesses and job creators. This study would fully disclose the costs of regulation to taxpayers, reveal the long-term economic impact, and eliminate regulatory overlap and conflict. In addition, we must also revise the way regulation is enacted to provide greater Congressional review and involvement with the regulatory process.

Scot Kersgaard contributed to this story.

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