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"We've trusted the lawmakers long enough. They're going to destroy our air and water and land just because somebody comes in with a big plan, right? And then we have to clean it all up."
Colorado Fourth-District Republican US Rep Cory Gardner is filling his campaign coffers for 2012 as he did in 2010 by leaning heavily on oil-and-gas industry donors. He raked in $370,000 in the quarter that just ended. That's the most of any candidate for federal office from Colorado and topped his take in previous quarters by roughly $100,000. One of every ten dollars Gardner brought in last quarter came from oil and gas, and this quarter the percentage is higher, coming in at roughly 12 percent. That notable campaign finance record paired with the high-profile pro-drilling and environmental-regulation-rollback positions he has taken mark out the freshman congressman as an aspiring top-level advocate for oil and gas on the Hill.
Residents of Routt County in northern Colorado – an area not known for its oil and gas development -- are gearing up for a major natural gas boom in the Niobrara Shale Formation. Activists are seeking guidance from more heavily drilled parts of the state as Shell and other companies eye gas extraction in the scenic Yampa River Valley.
Freshman Republican Congressman Cory Gardner weathered a drawn out if ultimately not-close Tea Party caucus battle last year and rode the Republican wave to victory over Democrat Betsy Markey.* Less than a year later, he's again navigating the increasingly rocky electoral waters of Colorado's sprawling Fourth District.