National climate news sends ripples across Colorado Senate contest

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he New York Times today reported that President Obama is seeking to circumnavigate the gridlocked Congress in an effort to “forge a sweeping international climate-change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions.” The news follows a piece the Times ran yesterday on a leaked draft of the United Nations’s coming climate-change report, which predicts dire natural and economic consequences in the event emissions from fossil fuel use aren’t drastically cut in mega-producing nations like the United States, China and India.

The climate buzz triggered predictable political coverage from outlets like The Hill, which suggested that any political action on climate change could be worse for Democrats in tough races than any non-action on climate change will be for the planet.

Colorado U.S. Senator Mark Udall, who is battling back a reelection challenge from Republican Congressman Cory Gardner, was one of the incumbents The Hill reported might get hurt by the latest climate news. Gardner’s campaign certainly hopes so. His staffers swiftly sent out a release demanding Udall “condemn the president’s overreach on the climate” and reminding readers that many of Udall’s financial supporters, specifically financier Tom Steyer, are environmentalists and “extreme anti-energy crusaders.”

“Cory has a strong record defending Colorado’s energy economy as he promotes a true all-of-the-above energy strategy,” the release states, noting that Gardner lent bipartisan support to Colorado’s Clean Energy; Clean Jobs Act back in 2010, which bolstered a transition across the state from coal-fired to natural-gas burning power plants.

Udall’s campaign mocked Gardner for billing himself as an “all-of-the above” energy supporter.

“You can’t be an all-of-the-above energy guy when you refuse to listen to scientists, deny the facts behind climate change, question whether the Department of Energy should even exist, and vote for radical right-wing budgets that slash clean-energy programs, which would eliminate thousands of Colorado jobs,” said Kristin Lynch, a spokesperson for the Udall campaign.

“Slashing the Department of Energy means slashing the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, since NREL gets 85 percent of its funding from the DOE. And NREL supports more than 6,000 jobs here in Colorado, not to mention the fact that the cutting-edge research being done at their facility in Golden has helped make our state a leader in the clean energy and green tech economy.”

[ UN climate art via Flickr ]


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