Tipton ad: Schwartz is enemy of coal
U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton came out swinging Thursday in his first advertisement against his Democratic opponent Gail Schwartz for the 3rd Congressional District.
In the ad, Tipton said Schwartz voted against her constituents when she sponsored a bill in 2013 while in the Colorado Senate, particularly hurting coal mining in Delta County, which was part of her district.
“Unfortunately, Delta County, Colorado, has taken the brunt of Gail Schwartz’s tenure in the state Senate,” Tipton said in a press briefing. “Instead of representing her constituents, she did go to Denver and took her orders from someone else. She sided with climate alarmists in Denver and Aspen, pushing renewable energy policies that are directly responsible for the loss of over a thousand coal mining jobs and a 12 percent decrease in tax revenues in Delta County alone.”
Problem is, that bill, SB252, wasn’t about coal, at least not directly.
The bill doubled the state’s renewable energy standard for rural electric associations, meaning they had to generate at least 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources. For-profit utilities in the state have a 30 percent standard.
While Tipton said Schwartz had “turned her back” on her constituents, neither he nor his new advertisement mentions that, at the time, the board of directors of the Delta-Montrose Electric Association, which was impacted by the measure, passed a resolution in support of it as long as the bill allowed smaller REAs to generate energy from local sources, which is does.
Since then, Delta-Montrose has made strides in increasing the amount of power it generates from renewable energy, creating jobs in the process, Schwartz said.
Schwartz said Tipton also fails to mention that one of the Delta County coal mines shut down because of a devastating fire, while the other succumbed to international market forces.
“He is running his bills and doing the bidding for his largest donors, meanwhile lying to people to make them think that these (coal jobs) are long-term sustainable jobs, when they are not,” Schwartz said.
Schwartz said she ran that bill to help boost new jobs for coal miners and others in rural parts of the state in the renewable energy field, which she said the bill accomplished.
Tipton also cited HB1365 for hurting the coal industry, which the Legislature approved in 2010. That measure called for converting some Front Range coal-fired power plants to burn natural gas instead, a bill Schwartz voted for that Tipton opposed.
Two prime sponsors of the bill were Western Slope Republicans Sen. Josh Penry of Grand Junction and then Rep. Ellen Roberts of Durango.
Schwartz also said it is disingenuous for Tipton to criticize her for kowtowing to environmentalists while he has received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from billionaire oilmen Charles and David Koch.
Tipton cited Ballotpedia.org for supporting his claim that Schwartz and SB252 were part of the “war on coal.”
According to the nonprofit Center for Public Integrity, Ballotpedia is partially funded by the Madison, Wisconsin-based Lucy Burns Institute, which receives the bulk of its money from the Koch Brothers and other conservative donors.