Udall to visit Craig
Craig Precisely because Craig is off the beaten path.
For that reason, Democratic candidate for Colorado U.S. Senate Mark Udall plans to come to the Center of Craig at 3 p.m. Tuesday.
Udall is running against Republican Bob Schaffer for Sen. Wayne Allard's seat. Allard is retiring.
"He wants to be there so that he has a chance to meet people and introduce himself to people he hopes to represent," Udall Communications Director Taylor West said.
And, she said, some of Craig's issues are the universal issues of the state.
"It's one of those impacted communities that's dealing with a lot of the issues that a lot of Colorado is dealing with," West said.
Namely, she said, balancing energy development and possible economic gains with preserving the natural resources that have historically made Colorado a U.S. destination: attractive landscapes, native animals and a good quality of life.
"It's a big priority for us to get that (balance) right," West said.
Udall is concerned about America's dependence on foreign energy resources, she added, and wants Colorado to help the country break that habit.
As part of that, Udall wants to diversify the country's energy portfolio and have the government invest renewable resources - such as wind and solar power - as well as clean technologies for traditional fossil-based fuels, such as coal and natural gas.
As a U.S. congressman representing Colorado since 1998, he has pushed for tax incentives to establish working renewable resource sites across the state.
West said that does not mean he wants to limit or otherwise threaten other energy industries, or the jobs they create in places like Moffat County.
"We need a very balanced approach to our energy policy and that does include a reliance on some of the traditional fuels in Colorado," she said. "It's not a zero-sum game. What we're really looking at is Colorado's ability to contribute to the country's energy independence."
Which takes an approach that establishes and protects all industries, West said, adding that increasing renewable resource sites ultimately creates more jobs for local workers, also.
Craig City Councilor Terry Carwile plans to give Udall's introduction Tuesday. The two first met on a personal level in 2001 when they climbed to the summit of James Peak during the drive to create a wilderness area there.
Udall had supported the grassroots effort of making the mountains there at the corner of Gilpen, Clear Creak and Boulder counties into a wilderness area, Carwile said. Udall's support of local voices is one of the things Carwile has liked about the man.
"I think he's a good consensus builder, and I think he will defer to citizen groups," Carwile said. "I like that."