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One of the most strident critics of last spring’s oil and gas drilling regulations was state Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, who fought to the bitter end to kill or at least neuter the new regulations. He claimed that in pushing through the regs, Gov. Bill Ritter was "killing the goose that laid the golden egg" in Colorado and driving away jobs. Supporters of new regulations disagreed. Now Houston-based Anadarko Petroleum Corp. has effectively weighed in by announcing its plans to erect new rigs and drill hundreds of new wells in the state's Fourth District-- that is, across the exact counties where Gardner is stumping to replace Democrat U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey in Washington.
Obama-era economic policy so far has not prominently featured the nation's farm country. That's changing. Policy being weighed now in Washington concerning ethanol will have a major impact in states like Colorado, home to Yuma County, one of the most efficient corn-growing regions in the country and a major producer of the biofuel. As debate over ethanol heats up, the path the Obama Administration is steering looks to be exactly the kind of middle-way, practical political tack that chagrins progressives, in this case energy analysts and environmentalists who want to see the country take bold steps and begin to lead the world in green technology and climate change.