April 1, 2014 – By Observer Staff – The Colorado Observer
DENVER — Rep. Cory Gardner upped the ante in the Senate race Tuesday by challenging Sen. Mark Udall to disavow any statewide initiative aimed at banning hydraulic fracturing.
“Senator Udall’s refusal to oppose a ban on hydraulic fracturing has put nearly 100,000 Colorado jobs at risk of being completely eliminated,” said Gardner in a statement. “Senator Udall cannot look Coloradans in the eye and tell them that he honestly cares about creating jobs. He doesn’t.”
Gardner is the frontrunner for the Republican Senate nomination to run against the Democrat Udall, who’s seeking a second term.
The challenge places Udall, a staunch environmentalist, in a particularly tricky political bind. Supporting the proposed statewide fracking measures would make him vulnerable to charges of being a jobs-killer, given last week’s University of Colorado report showing that a ban would cost 93,000 jobs and $12 billion by 2040.
On the other hand, opposing the proposed fracking bans would hurt Udall with his liberal base, especially his core supporters in the environmental movement who take a dim view of oil-and-gas development.
“Colorado is at risk of losing tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in revenue, and our most senior elected official refuses to fight for Coloradans,” said Gardner, whose statement was issued on Twitter by spokesman Alex Siciliano.