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As Gas Hits $3 per Gallon, Perlmutter Hits Up Colorado Oil & Gas Industry
For Immediate Release:
May 3, 2006
ARVADA, CO – Peggy Lamm, Democratic candidate for Colorado’s 7th District, today said that Ed Perlmutter’s fundraiser Monday with the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) once again demonstrates the wrong priorities.

Monday, Perlmutter held a fundraiser hosted by fellow members of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, a group that has consistently opposed stronger environmental protections, supported Bush policies to allow increased drilling on federal lands, and has attacked environmentalists as “shrill obstructionists” who use “fear tactics and junk science.”

One of the hosts of the fundraiser hailed Perlmutter as someone who will be an effective voice for the oil and gas industry in Congress. Here is an excerpt from the host’s invitation:

“….he [Ed Perlmutter] will be an effective voice for industry in Congress in the Democratic caucus where that voice will be especially needed. As an industry, we need support on both sides of the aisle, and Ed understands our issues at a fundamental level.”

“It’s very clear that Ed and I have differences on energy issues,” said Lamm. “Like the current Congress and administration, Ed has supported huge handouts for the energy industry while they make huge profits. Right now, with gas prices hitting families hard I think we need to concentrate on weaning our country away from its dependence on foreign oil and make a stronger commitment to investing in renewable energies, like biomass, solar and wind.”

Lamm noted that Perlmutter had sponsored legislation that the Denver Post called “An Oil-Industry Dream Bill” and a “one-sided special-interest measure” to allow natural gas companies to avoid paying millions of dollars to about 10,000 royalty holders. [Denver Post, 2/28/02; SB 141, 2/22/02]

“The culture of corruption in Washington has sold out to the big oil companies and other special interests,” Lamm concluded. “Those special interests already have too many voices in Congress. They don’t need another one in Ed Perlmutter.”

She also cited a number of COGA’s positions and statements as evidence of Perlmutter’s misplaced priorities:

Opponents of Drilling on Federal Land “Shrill Obstructionists”

The Colorado Oil and Gas Association claims that opponents of drilling for natural gas on federal lands are “shrill, obstructionist organizations.” [Colorado Oil and Gas Association web site]

Environmentalists Use “Fear Tactics and Junk Science.”

According to the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, opponents of drilling are “so-called environmentalists who use fear tactics and junk science to split traditional allies.” [Colorado Oil and Gas Association web site]

Supports Increased Drilling in Adams, Weld Counties

The Colorado Oil and Gas Association supported efforts to increase oil and natural-gas drilling in Adams and Weld counties.

The plan would allow companies to drill a well on every 20 acres instead of the currently permitted 40 acres. [Denver Post, 8/16/05]

Opposed Storm Runoff Laws

In June 2005, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association sued Colorado Water Quality Control Commission because of new regulations on storm runoff to protect against water pollution from oil and gas wells. [Associated Press, 7/19/05]

Supports Bush Plan to Open Roadless Areas in National Forests to Drilling, Logging

The Colorado Oil and Gas Association supported the Bush administration’s decision to open about a third of the roadless areas in national forests to commercial development.

According to the Associated Press, COGA supported the Bush administration’s repeal of a ban on logging and other development on 58.5 million acres of national forests, most of it in 12 Western states. [Associated Press, 5/5/05]

According to the Rocky Mountain News, Ken Wonstolen, general counsel for the Colorado Oil and Gas Association trade group, said that repealing the Clinton rules on national forests will open more land to energy exploration. [Rocky Mountain News, 7/13/04]