The State Houses – What’s At Stake in 2010

Thirty-nine states will be electing a governor during the 2009-2010 election cycle. Of these, eighteen races will not include an incumbent and four incumbents who will be running were not elected to their current position. The recession and huge budget deficits threaten to undercut the power of incumbency for governors running for reelection.

The Current Line-Up

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May
31

CO: The (Regulation) Debate Goes On

By · May, 31 2010

As the environmental catastrophe continues to spread across the Gulf of Mexico, Colorado Republicans have gotten themselves all indignant over Gov. Bill Ritter’s recent statements on oil and gas regulations. Ritter fought a politically costly battle (it was one of the factors that helped push his job approval numbers into the political netherworld last year) against the powerful energy industry in the Rocky Mountain State. He successfully passed stricter regulations and imposed greater government oversight of drilling in the state.

Republicans have charged the regulations have caused energy companies to abandon the state, leading to lost jobs and revenue and worsening the recession.

As the world watches in horror at the environmental and economic consequences of lax oversight ooze across the Gulf and through the Louisiana bayou, Ritter made the argument for increased regulation.

“People are going to have a much more difficult time criticizing these rules because we’re being good stewards of the environment. The BP spill in the Gulf is the exclamation point on what happens when stewardship wanes, when it goes away. We didn’t do that, we were stewards. And, yes, it was a fight with the industry but it was a fight worth having for us because I can feel comfortable that we’ve got the right permitting process in place.”

Republicans were outraged the governor would try to score political points from the disaster.

Guber hopeful Dan Maes got his libertarian panties (I mean principles), all riled up, decrying the Democrat’s efforts to protect the environment (and a huge part of Colorado’s tourism-heavy economy) from the heavy hand of the free market.

“It’s reprehensible for anyone to use this for political gain,” Maes said. “[The spill] shouldn’t have happened, its tragic, but for him to try to make political hay out of it is reprehensible. And the truth is, his regulations have literally chased the industry out of our state and the rig counts reflect that.”

And the beat goes on.

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Categories : Colorado, Energy

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