Web site does not reflect his views on value of coal plants, Salazar says

CLUB 20 MEMBER RUTH VANDERHOOF, former first lady of Colorado, talks with Sen. Ken Salazar, D.-Colo., on Saturday during the Club 20 meeting at Two Rivers Convention Center in Grand Junction.

An entry on his Web site calling for the scrapping of all existing and planned coal plants doesn’t represent his views, U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., told a Colorado state representative Saturday during the fall Club 20 meeting.

Salazar told the Western Slope lobbying and promotional organization that the equivalent of a “moonshot” was needed for the United States to achieve energy independence, and all options need to be considered, from conventional sources such as oil and coal, to wind and solar power.

Rep. Al White, a Republican from Hayden, whose economy is based on mining coal to fire electrical generators, then asked him why his Web site listed the elimination of coal as a one of the 10 best ideas for energy.

“Tell me you don’t really believe that,” White said.

“I’d appreciate that piece of paper,” Salazar said, referring to a printout from Salazar’s Web site.

“This is not true,” Salazar said after looking at the paper and speculating there had been mischief on his Web site.

“I disagree with that statement,” Salazar said.

“That’s what I wanted to hear,” White said.

Salazar in remarks leading up to that incident stressed he remained interested in the development of oil shale and said industry and government still have to answer questions about the amounts of water and energy needed for commercial production.

“Isn’t water the lifeblood that makes us what we are in western Colorado?” he said.

The nation also needs to grapple with the issue of global warming while it deals with new energy supplies, he said.

“The time has passed” for debate on global warming, he said. “It’s not a hoax. It’s a real issue.”

Western Colorado, meanwhile, is doing its part to help the nation meets its energy needs, he said, calling on Club 20 to avoid becoming a handmaiden to any interests, Democrat or Republican, other than its own regional needs.


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