Let’s talk a little closer to home. Let’s talk Senate candidate Bob Schaffer. Just take a look at his campaign website and see all of the wonderful things he wants to do for Colorado’s energy and natural resources. After all, Mr. Shaffer is an avid hiker. He feels that we should look within for help as quoted from his website:
“Favor clean energy production. Bob believes it is better to derive energy resources from well-regulated and environmentally conscious American sources rather than from nations that lack comparable environmental standards, such as Cuba and Russia.”
Through using the worst possible examples (he forgot China), Mr. Schaffer makes it appear that the rest of the world is contributing even more to greenhouse gases than the United States. Perhaps he should look into Europe’s progress. Why should we be looking within when the number one wind turbine company in the world is out of Denmark. Vestas, who will be opening a new project soon in Northern Colorado, is the leader in wind energy as a source. They also have built a factory on home soil in Portland, Oregon.
On energy credits, Mr. Shaffer had this to say:
“No exemptions on international climate treaties. Bob believes none of America’s industrialized competitor nations should be exempt from any climate treaties considered by the U.S. Senate. The proposed Kyoto climate-change treaty, for example, exempted 132 of 166 of the world’s nations including China and India.”
The problem is that the Kyoto Protocol has been very successful for the countries who have ratified the document. Germany was the most ambitious country, with a goal of a 21% reduction in green house gases by 2012, a feat that would have to be completed with 7 years. As of 2008, they are already well beyond the goal, with reductions at around 20%. They will also be closing down their 19 nuclear power plants within the next two decades, while McCain sees nuclear energy as the future. A bit behind the times it seems.
The reason Shaffer’s goals in environmental policy can’t be taken, is his record as a Congressman and the years following. While in Congress, Schaffer voted for $33 billion in tax breaks to oil companies, (HR 4, Vote 320, 8/2/2001). After Congress, he became as he puts it: “a business executive for an independent based Denver-based energy company” which worked on wind power and natural energy. This natural energy independent company is actually actually a huge oil company with contracts in Iraq. As a lobbyist, Schaffer recieved $156,000 from these oil companies (AP 6/15/2004); and has made over $900,000 as the executive for this company (Schaffer Personal Finance Disclosures).
When it comes down to it, do you really think that this guy has the best intentions for renewable energy and the environment, during this crucial time? Mr. Schaffer is just another “suit” that oil companies want in the Senate.
“I went to Iraq for my country. Bob Schaffer went to Iraq for a big oil company. I tried to secure peace in Iraq. Bob Schaffer tried to secure an oil deal in Iraq. Our time in Iraq left thousands with head trauma. Bob Schaffer’s time in Iraq helped land a contract for oil. Too many vets can’t get the care they need. Congressman Schaffer voted against billions in funds for veterans. We fought for our country. Why hasn’t Bob Schaffer fought for us?”