May 29, 2012
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Mitt Romney on Tuesday did what no other presidential candidate has done in more than 100 years of Moffat County history. He campaigned in Craig. Speaking in a region with abundant natural resources and to a community dependent on energy development for jobs, the presumptive Republican Party presidential nominee wasted no time criticizing President Barack Obama’s regulation of the coal, oil and natural gas industries.
The line to enter Alice Pleasant Park grew quickly Tuesday morning, winding its way around the Museum of Northwest Colorado. As the morning wore on, the line would only grow longer as more residents gathered to catch a glimpse of the first presidential candidate to speak in person in Craig history. “I think this is a piece of history,” Craig City Council member Ray Beck said before Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s speech Tuesday. “I think this is monumental, I really do. This is history in the making.” An estimated 2,000 people, more by some estimates, filed through metal detectors staffed by Secret Service agents at security checkpoints before entering the park.
Scott Cook, a Craig and Steamboat Springs businessman, said new finance regulations are hindering him in the marketplace. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was drafted to create more accountability in the financial system following the sweeping bank failure at the dawn of the recession. However, Cook said the act has “created some huge compliance issues” in the finance and insurance departments of his business, Cook Chevrolet, which has locations in Craig and Steamboat. He took his concerns Tuesday to someone who, depending on what happens in November, may be able to help.
Reaction from energy industry representatives to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's speech Tuesday in Craig was largely positive. Appearing in downtown Craig, Romney said his administration would create an energy policy that utilizes all of America’s natural resources, including coal, natural gas and oil. It was a message Colorado Mining Association President Stuart Sanderson appreciated hearing. “I liked the points that he hammered away on (about) reaching our full potential through the development of natural resources, taking into account the struggles the local communities like Craig are experiencing as a result of the burden of national regulations, not to mention state regulations, although he certainly could speak considerably about those,” Sanderson said.
The Republican presidential candidate focused on energy during his campaign stop at Alice Pleasant park in Craig this morning. "Coal equals job," he told a crowd of supporters that included local miners. "I want coal, gas, oil and nuclear, as well as renewables."