Monday, December 10, 2007

Washington Politics Never Simple

The Denver Post is reporting that the Democrats are playing games in the Senate in an effort to make Mark Udall look good to the Western Slope, or at least some on the Western Slope.

The House removed the one year moratorium prohibiting drilling on the Roan Plateau for reasons that aren't obvious considering that the Democrats clearly had the votes to keep it in the bill.

Now, Ken Salazar is riding to the rescue???

The fight over the Roan now shifts to the Senate, where Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., says he will seek a one-year moratorium on Roan drilling. But his effort is unlikely to happen until after the new year.

Meanwhile, a political slugfest erupted Wednesday over questions about the 3,500-foot mesa in northwestern Colorado and the motivations for protecting it.

Sen. Wayne Allard, a Loveland Republican who supports energy development on the Roan, said House and Senate Democrats have an ulterior motive in seeking the one-year drilling moratorium.

Democratic leaders, Allard said, want to give Rep. Mark Udall of Eldorado Springs credit for protecting the state's Western Slope. Udall, who is running for the retiring Allard's seat, co-wrote with Rep. John Salazar, a Manassa Democrat, the provision on Roan drilling that passed in an earlier House bill. It was stripped this week from the compromise version. The plateau sits in Salazar's district.

"This boils down to the Senate race, frankly," Allard said. "Democratic leadership is convinced that this is going to be an important issue in the Senate race in Colorado."

What gives?

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