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Rocky Mountain News - Udall, Schaffer Take to the Road with Energy High on Agendas

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Rocky Mountain News - Udall, Schaffer Take to the Road with Energy High on Agendas

Energy continues to dominate the U.S. Senate race as Democrat Mark Udall and Republican Bob Schaffer criss-cross the state this week in search of votes.

Udall's stops during his six- county visit include a tour today of Colorado State University's biofuels laboratory in Fort Collins and of a natural gas field in Rifle on Saturday.

Schaffer's events - from Leadville to Durango - include a news conference on energy in Grand Junction on Thursday.

Political consultant Steve Welchert said high energy costs are a driving force behind the faltering economy.

"I think people went into a pretty significant panic this summer over gas costs, and not without cause," he said. "It's going to be a bumpy road for many, many years and it's going to require lots of different solutions."

Udall's campaign spokeswoman, Taylor West, said Udall's stop at a biofuels lab and a natural gas field reflect the candidate's "comprehensive approach" to energy.

"Unlike Bob Schaffer, Mark thinks the way to move forward is to take these massive tax breaks to the record profit-making oil companies and put them into research, alternative fuels and energy efficiency," she said.

Schaffer also supports a comprehensive approach, said his campaign manager, Dick Wad- hams.

"We need to increase drilling. We need to increase domestic exploration. But we also need to develop renewables," Wadhams said. "Boulder liberal Udall is trying to convince people he's been for drilling all along, which he hasn't. This is a new position for him."

Udall, a five-term congressman from Eldorado Springs, and Schaffer, a former three-term congressman from Fort Collins, are vying to succeed Republican U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard.

Also running for the U.S. Senate are Green Party candidate Bob Kinsey, Doug "Dayhorse" Campbell of the American Constitution Party and independent Buddy Moore.

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