Crestone Eagle, November 2005:
U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar spoke in Saguache on energy concerns
by Lisa Cyriacks
Senator Ken Salazar took Monday, October 10, to spend time
in the San Luis Valley and spoke to current issues facing
the nation. Salazar prefaced his comments with comments regarding
his pleasure to be serving citizens of Colorado and the pride
he takes in the work he has accomplished so far.
The topics most on his mind are the rising costs of fuel
and the impact of an energy bill passed by the Senate in July,
especially on rural communities. Although the Senate recently
passed the first comprehensive Energy Bill in 30 years, a
strategy for a short-term emergency plan to deal with these
out-of-control energy prices also needs to be developed. Salazar
encouraged, “The only immediate realistic solution is
for all Americans to adopt a strong ethic of conservation.
I am working on ways we can begin to do that.”
Salazar acknowledged that there was criticism of the bill
from some sectors, citing it as a “give away to oil
industry” (this references the section of the legislation
that promotes a program to build the Petroleum Reserve, provides
incentives for oil and gas production, and provides for oil
and gas activities on federal land). He, however, chose to
speak of the positive aspects of the legislation.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 sets forth a program to push
for diverse energy research and development. He stressed the
importance of conservation and the fact that the bill supports
promotion of energy efficient practices and products—indicating
that he also felt that the federal government should lead
by example in promoting these practices.
Of primary concern was the link between dependence on oil
and national security. Over the past thirty years since the
first oil embargo the United States has doubled its dependence
on oil. Salazar spoke of the need for the “rhetoric
to end” and of his personal request made to George Bush
to require CEOs in the oil industry to share in America’s
sacrifice by not profiteering from the Iraq war and recent
events such as Hurricane Katrina.
Salazar stated that the most exciting part of the legislation
for him personally was the emphasis on renewable energies
and incentives for creating new technologies. Salazar emphasized:
“The research and creation of new sources of energy
is a very important initiative for rural America.” He
envisions the San Luis Valley providing good opportunities
for projects that supply energy needs using renewable resources,
such as bio-fuels, possibly solar energy collection or wind
generation or tapping geothermal resources in the valley.
Such projects would also stimulate the local economy and create
The Senator took questions from the audience that reflected
the diverse interests and concerns of valley residents: recent
proposed legislation that steps back protection of National
Parks, voting reform, privatization of public assets such
as Social Security reform and the rumored sale of Federal
lands to pay for emergency assistance for Hurricane Katrina,
reforms to the Endangered Species Act, increasing federal
debt, rising costs of health care, and reduction in funding
to important social programs such as Head Start, and Homeland
Senator Salazar ended the meeting reiterating his commitment
to do his best to represent the citizens of Colorado—putting
the interests of people ahead of party interests and the partisan
politics of Washington D.C. He welcomes input on all topics
and invites valley residents to participate in two upcoming
summits: an Economic Summit in December and a Summit on Renewable
Energy in January.
For information on upcoming valley meetings and events sponsored
by US Senator Ken Salazar, contact his Alamosa office: 609
Main Street, #110, Alamosa, CO 81101, phone: 719-587-0096.
Staffing the office is Charlotte Bobicki, Regional Director.
Or you can email Senator Salazar directly using the web form
to the Eagle!