Tipton: Use natural gas in vehicles

The United States should follow the lead offered by Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens and look to natural gas as a transportation fuel, Republican congressional candidate Scott Tipton said.

Fueling cars and trucks would rejuvenate the natural gas industry in western Colorado and elsewhere by pumping new life into slowing market demand for the fuel, and the need to build fueling stations would create construction jobs, Tipton said.

Tipton, a state legislator who owns Mesa Indian Trading Co. and Gallery in Cortez, is seeking to unseat U.S. Rep. John Salazar, D-Colo., in the 3rd Congressional District, encompassing much of western and southern Colorado.

Tipton is running for the second time against Salazar, having lost to him in 2006, when Democrats took control of Congress.

Responding to Salazar’s statement that he wouldn’t run negative ads, Tipton said he would stick to issues, but Salazar’s voting record would be an issue.

His campaign will highlight Salazar’s votes for health care legislation sought by President Obama, support of the $787 billion stimulus package and the incumbent’s support of new financial regulations. While Salazar opposed cap-and-trade legislation aimed at controlling carbon-dioxide emissions, Tipton said he will be critical of Salazar for not taking to the floor of the House to oppose the legislation sought by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Salazar earlier this month told The Daily Sentinel he was no favorite of Pelosi because he refused to support the cap-and-trade measure she covets.

Still, Tipton said, “The district should have a voice” in the debate over the issue.

In addition to supporting natural gas for energy, Tipton said he supports development of nuclear energy and oil shale.

The district also needs a strong voice on water issues, in particular efforts to store more water in Colorado.

More storage upstream in Colorado will benefit the 3rd Congressional District as well as the downstream states of Arizona, California and Nevada.

“I have no question that the (federal) government will overreach” on water, and that will require a forceful response, Tipton said.

His campaign will focus on the need to boost employment, Tipton said.

His “10-10-10 plan” — it would reduce nonmilitary discretionary spending by 10 percent, cut the capital-gains tax to 10 percent and reduce corporate income taxes to a flat 10 percent — would rejuvenate employment and encourage “repatriation” of dollars now invested elsewhere, Tipton said.

With the end of the election four years ago, Tipton ran out of money, and his campaign went dark, allowing Salazar a clear field in which to attack him for his support of a consumption tax.

Salazar’s campaign criticized Tipton for wanting to raise taxes 23 percent, which inaccurately characterized his position, Tipton said. He declined to blame Salazar directly for the attacks, but said Salazar’s campaign was aware of their inaccuracy.

This time, he is not making the tax system a centerpiece of his campaign, Tipton said.

Tipton pinned much of his successful primary campaign on criticism of Salazar and Pelosi, tying the two together as much as possible.

Tipton, however, said he wouldn’t commit to how he would vote for leadership if he gets elected and Republicans take over the House majority.


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