Tipton changes view on Energy Department future, Salazar camp says

U.S. Rep. John Salazar’s campaign is accusing challenger Scott Tipton of flipping his views about the U.S. Department of Energy, but Tipton says the agency has fallen far short of its goals.

The Energy Department was established under President Jimmy Carter as a way to make the United States self sufficient for energy, a task at which it’s failed, Tipton said.

He doesn’t want to get rid of it, though, especially with the department conducting work on such projects as clean coal, Tipton said.

That’s still a flip-flop, Salazar’s campaign said, pointing to a posting in May on perlstalker.blogspot.com.

The author identified his report as “a few of my thoughts from the meeting” in Alamosa with Republicans and Tipton.

There, blogger Randall Smith wrote, Tipton said, “He’d like to eliminate the Department of Energy and cut the Department of Education.”

Smith said via e-mails that he recalled few specifics about the conversation and that he no longer had his notes.

“It was part of an overall discussion as part of reducing the size and scope of the federal government,” Smith said.

That constituted a flip, Salazar spokeswoman Tara Trujillo said, saying Tipton “has changed his position on eliminating the Department of Energy.  Just like he’s flipped his positions on privatizing Social Security and cutting the federal budget by 50 percent.”

Tipton said he didn’t recall the original conversation and that his interest is in rejuvenating private employment in the energy sector, while Salazar “wants to grow bigger government.”


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