Tanker spills oil on Western Slope ahead of domestic energy jobs rally

In a classic case of bad timing, the day before a Western Slope rally to call for more oil and gas jobs and fewer environmental regulations, a tanker truck carrying 10,000 gallons of crude oil crashed just north of Gateway, Colo., Monday, threatening to contaminate the Dolores River.

Crews were scrambling today to clean up the spill before rain and snow moved into the area where oil was threatening a creek winding through beaver ponds before running into the Dolores River — which eventually empties into the Colorado River.

Meanwhile, about 50 miles to the northeast, the Washington, D.C.-based Americans for Prosperity and American Energy Alliance brought the “Energy for America Tour” to Grand Junction today, before heading to Craig, Colo., this evening.

“This whole bus tour is designed to remind people that we are a resource rich nation,” Jeffrey Hubbard, media director for the American Energy Alliance told the Craig Daily Press. “If we had access to these natural resources, we could create good-paying jobs and with those good-paying jobs we could have economic growth. The only obstacle standing in our way is Congress and unelected bureaucrats at the EPA.”

However, the industry tracking Baker Hughes Rig County recently reported oil production in the United States is at record levels – higher than any point since the Reagan administration.

The scenic Dolores River, especially upstream from Gateway, has been touted as an unparalleled outdoor recreation destination currently threatened by uranium mining.

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