Thursday, August 28, 2008

2008 Democratic National Convention: Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by John Salazar, US House of Representatives, Colorado

Hello Colorado! And welcome to all of you who have come from across
the nation for this historic event.

I'm proud to represent one of the largest rural districts in America-a
district of small communities, of people who believe in hard work,
love of family and service to our country.

Unfortunately, over the last eight years, the Bush administration has
neglected rural America.

And all John McCain is offering is more of the same neglect.

John McCain has repeatedly opposed policies that energize our rural
economies, opposed farm bills-over and over and over again-opposed
increasing funding for nutrition programs that keep our nation's
children from going to bed hungry at night.

We need a president who understands the contributions and values of
rural America. A president who understands the men and women who are
up at 5 a.m. every day to grow the food that we put on our tables.

We need a president who'll support rural America and the family
farmers we all rely on.

Most of all, we need a president who will deliver the change we need.

My fellow Coloradans, my fellow Americans, Barack Obama will be that

Barack Obama will work hard on behalf of those who work the land, and
lift those who strive to earn a decent living in our small
communities, and to keep the promises we've made to the men and women
from all across America who have proudly worn this nation's uniform.

As a lifelong farmer, I stand here today and look out upon a silo of
hope. It's stored up-it's ready for November. Ready for us to end this
time of rural neglect, begin a time of endless promise.

We will elect Barack Obama, the next President of the United States.

2008 Democratic National Convention: Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by Bill Ritter, Governor of Colorado

My name is Bill Ritter, and I'm the governor of the great state of

With me tonight is my wife Jeannie, our four great kids, my mother
Ethel, and many of my eleven brothers and sisters. My mother raised
our family on a small wheat farm just east of Denver. With such deep
roots in Colorado, it is especially gratifying, a privilege and an
honor to host the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Tonight, as we mark the end of this convention we reaffirm the western
spirit as the American spirit. Tonight, we mark another milestone on
Barack Obama's historic path to the presidency.

And this year, the road to the White House cuts straight through the
heart of the American West.

Merle Haggard said it best: "If God doesn't live in Colorado, I'll bet
that's where he spends most of his time."

Here in Colorado - like in all of America, from Denver to Detroit to
Dayton - we face incredible challenges. And we know why: The
Washington of George Bush and John McCain is failing us on energy, the
economy, education, health care, Iraq. Have you had enough?

Are you ready to end the Bush-McCain economic policy that is weakening
the middle class? Are you ready to turn the page on the failed Bush-
McCain energy policy that opposes investments in renewable energy? Are
you ready to close the book on the Bush-McCain health care policy that
does nothing for the uninsured, nothing to reduce health care costs,
and nothing to help seniors cope with the costs of long-term care?

Are you ready for the change we need? Are you ready for Barack Obama?

Maybe it's the mile high altitude and all this thin air. Maybe it's
the pioneering spirit of the American west. Whatever it is, we
westerners look at the many challenges facing America and see hope and
opportunity and possibility.

I call it the Colorado promise: creating a future that gives every
person in every community the chance to reach their full God-given
potential. We see the opportunity to build a new energy economy based
on natural gas, wind, and solar power, to create thousands of new jobs
for hard-working Coloradans. We see the opportunity to build an
economy around industries of the future like aerospace, biosciences,
and technology. We see the opportunity to reform our education system,
so every child gets the skills they need to fill 21st century jobs.

What's happening here is just a preview of the powerful change Barack
Obama will bring to all of America. The western experience can be the
American experience. In Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico,
Arizona, Kansas, and Oklahoma, a new generation of Democratic
governors has replaced Republican governors and is showing America how
to solve big problems. How to work together with Republicans and
Democrats alike.

The wide open west isn't just about wide open spaces. It's about the
possibilities of American opportunity. It's about a set of American
ideals that offer hope and unity and the promise of change. It's about
binding people together with common goals, shared visions, and the
pioneering spirit that defines all of America.

There's a little bit of that western spirit in the Colorado promise,
in all of us.

Really, it's the American promise. The vision of a country where "what
can be" becomes "what is." That vision only becomes a reality when we
have a true partner in the White House - a partner like Barack Obama
who will work with our states, not against them.

For the last eight years, we have not had that partner, and we will
not have a partner in John McCain.

America will be better tomorrow when we create a government that
legitimately intersects with where people struggle, and only if we
elect a bold new president named Barack Obama to get America back on

Once again, it has been our honor to host the 2008 Democratic National

Thank you, and God bless you.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2008

Note: First 3 events are all at the Governor’s Residence, Carriage House, 8th Avenue and Logan Street (Media: enter through Logan Street gate just south of 8th).

7:30 a.m. Colorado First Lady Jeannie Ritter will host a breakfast reception to focus attention on a new public-private partnership, “Civilians for Veterans Fund.” The project will help provide mental-health services to military veterans and their families. Former U.S. First Lady Rosalyn Carter is expected to attend.

9:30 a.m. Gov. Ritter will host a New Energy Economy reception with leaders from the renewable energy industry.

11:30 a.m. Gov. Ritter will take part in a business roundtable focusing on clean-tech and high-tech economic development opportunities. The roundtable is co-hosted by TechNet, a leading organization of high-tech CEOs and senior executives.

1 p.m. Gov. Ritter will take part in a news conference with officials from Vestas Wind Systems, the Denmark-based energy company that is opening four manufacturing plants and bringing 2,500 new jobs to Colorado over the next two years.

Location: “Green Energy Station” at Sculpture Garden Park at the Denver Center for Performing Arts, northbound Speer and Champa.

1:30 p.m. Gov. Ritter will participate in a panel discussion on energy issues as part of the Rocky Mountain Roundtable, a weeklong series of nonpartisan discussions on some of the most important issues facing America today.

Location: Space Theater, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, 950 13th St.

6 to 9 p.m. Gov. Ritter will be at the Pepsi Center for the Convention. He will be available for media interviews upon request. Call Evan Dreyer at 720-350-8370 or e-mail

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

CDP Campaigns are Underway, along with the Upcoming Convention

Colorado Dems respond to Republican attacks, discuss strategy
Campaigns are Underway, along with the Upcoming Convention

Note from the Chair:

Did you know that John McCain wants to take away our water? His latest faux pas makes one wonder whether he is really from the West. The Senator told The Pueblo Chieftain that the "water sharing agreement reached in 1922 between seven Western states" should be renegotiated. Not true for Colorado said Senator Ken Salazar. "...opening up the Colorado River Compact is absolutely wrong and would only happen over my dead body," Salazar said. "It's anathema to the fundamental principles of Colorado's water rights and our compacts." (The Pueblo Cheiftain, Friday, August 15, 2008)

Last night Democratic leaders met at the Governor's Mansion to discuss the upcoming presidential campaign in Colorado. It was a great meeting with representatives from all of the Congressional districts and leaders throughout the state. As we continued to talk, Gov. Ritter, former Lt. Governor Gail Schoettler, Senator Ken Salazar, former mayors Federico Pena and Wellington Webb held a press conference. Guess who was lurking outside the gates. None other than Republican chair, Dick Wadhams. He got into a heated discussion with Rep. Ed Perlmutter and then was quoted as saying that we were in panic session. Sorry Dick, the only thing even approaching panic around here is whether we have enough tickets for everyone who wants to go to Invesco Field next week.

Pat Waak

Democratic National Committee Chairman, Governor Howard Dean to Rally for Change in Denver

Join us on Friday as Governor Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee rolls into Denver on the last stop of his Register for Change Tour, which started in Nevada and wound through New Mexico before heading north to Colorado. Dean is helping to take our country back, neighbor by neighbor, door by door, vote by vote.

The rally will be this Friday, August 22nd at 12:00 PM at the Auraria College Campus' St. Cajetan's Chapel on Lawrence Way in Denver. Let's be sure to give the Governor a warm Colorado welcome!

On Wednesday, August 13, Congressman Udall and U.S. Senator Ken Salazar unveiled their energy plan to help Americans fight record high energy and gas prices now and in the future.

Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Mark Udall showed Coloradans this week that he's the only Senate candidate with a bipartisan, comprehensive plan to lower gas prices and break America's dependence on foreign oil. "American Energy, American Innovation" is a comprehensive plan, based on the bipartisan "Gang of 10" proposals that call for historic investment in renewable fuels and alternative energy made in Colorado. Also, increased investment in nuclear energy, expanded domestic oil and gas drilling where it can be done responsibly and investments in research and development to make American car makers the world's leaders in alternative fuel cars. The centerpiece of the proposal is a national Renewable Electricity Standard – just like the one that has been so successful in Colorado. Under Mark's plan, by the year 2020, utility companies will be producing at least 20% of our electricity from American-made renewable sources like wind and solar. You can read the "American Energy, American Innovation" plan at Mark has asked Republican nominee Bob Schaffer to sign onto his bipartisan energy proposal, but as the Durango Herald reported this weekend, "The Republican opposes the way the bill takes away oil-company tax breaks and gives them to renewable-energy companies." As Udall campaign spokeswoman Tara Trujillo put it, "The bottom line is that Bob Schaffer would rather let Colorado families and businesses continue to suffer than see a dime taken away from the oil companies. It couldn't be a clearer display of his true priorities."

In the coming days and weeks, Mark will be touring the state to talk about his energy plan and his other ideas to get our country back on track. Please check out his website at for updates and to see when Mark is coming to a town near you!

The general campaign for Hal Bidlack is underway

The first week turned out to be exciting following a press release from the Lamborn Campaign claiming that they were "re-challenging" Hal to debate. Unfortunately for Doug Lamborn this release came one day after news reports on Hal's challenge and 6 hours after a press release from the Bidlack Campaign announcing our plan for 7 debates. Hal has accepted a debate request for October 1st, we don't know if Lamborn has accepted.

Hal was at the Teller County Democrats Fundraising dinner on Saturday August 16th – it was a great event. We really appreciate it Teller County!! After watching Saturday night, we think Andrew Romanoff should consider a future in auctioneering!

Where's Hank?

Locate Hank, find upcoming events and find out where Hank is on the issues at his NEW website This past week was pivotal for the Hank Eng for Congress campaign in CD6. The Republican primary on August 12th revealed that Hank's opponent for the November 4th election will be Mike Coffman the current Colorado Secretary of State. 2008 is the year that a Democrat will win the Congressional seat in CD6. Hank's opponent has demonstrated his abilities as a career politician, and Hank has the leadership and community involvement experience to take the interests of all citizens of CD6 to Washington DC. Help Hank become the first Democrat to win the congressional seat in CD6. Visit , make a donation and sign-up to volunteer. Together we can turn CD6 BLUE.

Help Joe Whitcomb pick up a State Senate Seat!

Joe Whitcomb is a former Army Ranger, proud husband, and father of his one month old son. He's an attorney, and candidate for State Senate 23 in Broomfield, Westminster, and portions of Weld County. He was decorated as an Army Ranger and served overseas in Operation Just Cause. In 2002, he re-enlisted in the Air Force to train other soldiers to survive in combat. Joe Whitcomb has also volunteered as an advocate for battered women and abused children. Joe is committed to serving his community and working on the issues that matter to Senate District 23 such as the economy, health care, and education. He has dedicated much of his life serving our country and will serve Colorado as the next State Senator from Senate District 23 with your help. To find out how to help Joe or donate to his campaign go to

New Obama Ad
The Obama campaign announced a new TV ad recently, focused on the economy. It began to air Thursday in 16 battleground states, including Colorado. The new ad entitled Book highlights Obama's plan to break with the failing economic policies of the past eight years and put America's middle class first.

John McCain has supported George Bush 95 percent of the time, including spending ten billion dollars a month for the war in Iraq while the Iraqis sell oil for record prices, giving Iraq a $79 billion oil surplus at the expense of America's economy. Barack Obama knows that families need immediate and lasting relief -- that's why he will put America's middle class first. Senator Obama will responsibly end the war in Iraq, restore balance and fairness to our economy, and give working people immediate and meaningful relief.

Click watch Book and other videos at BarackTV.

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Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2008
                        Gov. Ritter will be attending and taking part in the National Clean Energy Summit at the University of Nevada Las Vegashosted by U.S. Sen. Harry Reid.
Gov. Ritter will be participating in a panel discussion – "The Visible Hand: Government's Role in the Clean Energy Transformation; Opportunities to Accelerate Deployment of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy." Gov. Ritter's panel will be from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Pacific/4:30 to 6 p.m. Mountain. Gov. Ritter also will take part in a post-summit news conference around 5:30 p.m. Pacific/6:30 p.m. Mountain.
Visit the Summit's website for more information:

Monday, August 18, 2008


The Governor's Commission on Community Service (GCCS) is pleased to announce the availability of funding to support new and re-competing Colorado AmeriCorps*State programs to start in the fall of 2009.
AmeriCorps funds are available to nonprofit organizations, state and local government units, higher education institutions, faith-based organizations and 501(c) 3 entities that address critical community needs in the areas of education, environment, human needs, public safety and homeland security. 
Special consideration will be given to projects that address one or more of the following five strategic initiatives as outlined by the Corporation for National and Community Service:
  • Mobilizing more volunteers
  • Ensuring a brighter future for all of America's youth
  • Engaging students in communities
  • Harnessing Baby Boomer's experiences
  • Helping communities recover from and prepare for disasters
Additionally, special consideration will be given to projects that address one or more of the following Colorado initiatives:
  • Governor Ritter's Colorado Promise and Lt. Governor O'Brien's strategic initiatives
  • Rural and underserved areas, and areas of extreme poverty in Colorado
  • Colorado identified priorities including:  mentoring, youth leadership, substance abuse, homelessness, early childhood education, and family resources. 
A Notice of Intent to Apply/Concept Paper is due no later than October 1, 2008. 
All applications are due no later than November 15, 2008
Please refer to the Commission's website at: for additional information.
AmeriCorps is a national service program that engages Americans in full or part-time volunteer service.  GCCS administers the AmeriCorps*State program inColorado.  The Office of the Lieutenant Governor oversees the Commission, which is guided by an advisory board of fifteen commissioners. 


DENVER – Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today joined the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers to kick off a new EcoDriving campaign to save consumers money at the pump, reduce fuel use and cut carbon emissions.
"The EcoDriving campaign offers easy actions that all of us can take – starting today, right now – to save money, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and benefit the environment," Gov. Ritter said. "By adopting EcoDriving tips, we can lower our fuel costs by 15 percent or more. And these are easy, common-sense driving and maintenance tips, like avoiding rapid starts and stops, using cruise control, reducing idling, and knowing when it's best to use your air conditioner."
Colorado and California are the first two states to support the consumer awareness campaign, details of which are available at the interactive website Gov. Schwarzenegger appeared at today's news conference at the Colorado Convention Center via a live satellite feed from California.
"You can save money and save the environment by driving green," said Dave McCurdy, president and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. "Through EcoDriving, 10 top automakers and the states of California and Colorado have found we share an important commitment, and we commend Gov. Schwarzenegger and Gov. Ritter for their leadership in engaging consumers in green driving." 
"Today's automobiles are really computers on wheels, with more than 3,000 interactive parts operating as a complex system," McCurdy added. "The more you know about your machine, the better you can reduce fuel use and CO2 emissions."
With 240 million vehicles on the road in the United States, the benefits of EcoDriving could be significant:
·         If just half of all drivers nationwide practiced moderate levels of EcoDriving, annual CO2 emissions could be reduced by about 100 million tons, or the equivalent of heating and powering 8.5 million households.
·         If all Americans practiced EcoDriving, it would be equal to 450 billion miles traveled on our roadways without generating any CO2emissions.  That's 1,500 CO2-free miles for every man, woman, and child in the United States each year.
Sample EcoDriving practices include: 
·         Not tailgating, knowing the proper way to accelerate and brake, using synchronized traffic lights to a driver's advantage, driving at the optimum highway speed, understanding when to use air conditioning and much more.
Sample maintenance practices include:
·         Knowing which motor oil to use, understanding the importance of proper tire pressure and what affects tire pressure, understanding aerodynamics and much more.
In conjunction with the unveiling of EcoDriving, the National Automobile Dealers Association announced that September will be free "Green Check-up Month" nationwide. 
The EcoDriving interactive website,, will help drivers learn practical tips to improve their mileage and reduce their carbon footprint. The site includes a video guide to EcoDriving, an "EcoCalculator" to determine benefits for individuals or states, a Virtual Road Test and a variety of educational tools.
Alliance members hope to engage all 50 states and major consumer organizations in EcoDriving. 
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is a trade association of 10 car and light truck manufacturers including BMW Group, Chrysler, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Toyota and Volkswagen.


Gov. Bill Ritter today announced the appointments of four new county and district court judges in the 1st, 5th and 10th Judicial Districts.
In the 1st Judicial District, which serves Gilpin and Jefferson counties, Gov. Ritter appointed Bradley Allen Burback of Arvada and K.J. Moore of Littleton as Jefferson County Court judges.
Burback has served as a District Court magistrate for the 1st Judicial District since 2006. He earned his bachelor's degree from ColoradoState University in 1986 and his law degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 1990. He also received his military attorney certificate from the U.S. Naval Justice School in 1991. 
Moore has served as a Jefferson County District Court magistrate since 2004. She earned her bachelor's degree from the University ofColorado in 1991 and her J.D. and M.S.L. degrees from Vermont Law School in 1995.  
In the 5th Judicial District, which serves Clear Creek, Eagle, Lake and Summit counties, Gov. Ritter appointed Karen Ann Romeo of Silverthorne as a District Court judge.
Romeo has worked in the District Attorney's Office in the 5th Judicial District since 1997. She is currently the chief deputy and assistant district attorney. She earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado in 1990 and her law degree from the Thomas M.Cooley School of Law in Michigan in 1996.
In the 10th Judicial District, which serves Pueblo County, Gov. Ritter appointed Deborah Rene Eyler of Pueblo West as a District Court judge. She has served as a District Court magistrate in this district since 2007. She earned her bachelor's degree in 1977 and her law degree in 1981, both from Creighton University
The appointments are for provisional terms of two years, and then until the second Tuesday in January follow the next general election. Thereafter, if retained by the voters, the term for a District Court judge is six years and four years for a County Court judge. The current salary for a District Court judge is $128,598 and $123,067 for a County Court judge.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Gov. Bill Ritter and Economic Development Director Don Elliman announced today that Denmark-based Vestas will significantly expand its Colorado operations by building two new manufacturing plants in Brighton.
The wind-blade production plant and nacelle assembly factory represent a $290 million capital investment and will bring 1,350 new jobs toColorado
"This expansion reinforces Colorado's standing as a national and international leader in clean, modern energy for the future," Gov. Ritter said. "It puts an exclamation point on our efforts to build a New Energy Economy that adds jobs, takes advantage of Colorado's incredible intellectual capital, secures our energy future and helps end our dependence on foreign oil."
Gov. Ritter was joined at this morning's announcement by Brighton Mayor Jan Pawlowski, Laura Brandt from the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp.; Larry Burkhardt, president/CEO of Upstate Colorado Economic Development; Weld County Commission Chairman Bill Jerke; Regional Transportation District General Manager Cal Marsella; and RTD Board President Lee Kemp.
"I've worked most of my professional life putting together business deals," Colorado Economic Development Director Elliman said, "and I have never had the privilege of working with a group of people as professional and conscientious as the people from Vestas. I'm also happy to say that this is not the last time we'll be talking about growth in the New Energy Economy. There is more to come."
Vestas opened its first North American manufacturing plant in Windsor earlier this year. The 650-employee facility will produce 1,800 giant wind blades a year.
The new Brighton facilities, which should be operational by July 1, 2010, will include:
·         A $180 million blade-manufacturing facility that will produce 1,800 blades a year and provide 650 new jobs.
·         A $110 million nacelle assembly factory that will produce 1,400 nacelles a year and provide 700 new jobs. Nacelles are the turbine housing units that sit atop the tower and contain key components like the gearbox, generator and transformer. This will be Vestas' largest nacelle assembly factory in the world.
·         A Technology and Production Engineering Office.
The 178-acre site is located in unincorporated Weld County and will be annexed into Brighton. Vestas is purchasing 112 acres fromBrighton and 66 acres from RTD, which obtained the land from the Union Pacific Railroad.
In addition, Vestas intends to build the world's largest tower-manufacturing facility elsewhere in Colorado; the exact location has not yet been announced.
All told, Vestas' entire commitment to Colorado represents a nearly $700 million capital investment and 2,450 new jobs.
Vestas officials were unable to attend today's news conference. They announced the Brighton project in a financial filing and news release issued early this morning.
Explaining why they are significantly expanding their Colorado operations, Vestas officials cited easy access to rail and highways, the state's highly skilled workforce, a favorable business climate, and strong dedication and commitment from state and local leaders to growing Colorado's New Energy Economy.
Gov. Ritter said he looks forward to continuing the partnership with Vestas. "Vestas is once again cementing its position as one ofColorado's pioneering partners in the New Energy Economy," he said. "My administration worked closely with Vestas and the many other partners involved in this project to make it a reality.
"This is a tremendous boon for all of Colorado," Gov. Ritter added. "It adds momentum to our push to diversify our energy portfolio and build a 21st century economy based on industries of the future. What we are doing here in Colorado can and should serve as a model for the rest of the country."

Ritter, Salazar Cost State "A Cool Billion"

Political Poison Injected By The Two Politicians Led To "The Great Roan Plateau Giveaway"

Denver – Colorado lost "a cool billion dollars" in reduced revenues from the Roan Plateau natural gas lease sale today because of the "near constant political poison that Bill Ritter and Ken Salazar injected into this process," according to Greg Schnacke, President of Americans for American Energy.

"What we saw today was nothing less than a fire sale, and the people of Colorado got burned," Schnacke said. "I call it the Great Roan Plateau Giveaway."

"The results are probably good for the bidders, but the result wasn't anywhere near what it should have been for Colorado taxpayers.  There is a very simple explanation.  The non-stop political attacks on this project by Bill Ritter and Ken Salazar raised the political risk premium of this project to the sky, and bidders reduced their bids accordingly.  That cost our state dearly -- almost certainly one billion dollars."

Schnacke said:  "Public documents detail private acreage sales in the same area in the last two years that netted $40,000 to $50,000 per acre. However, these sales did not have the political 'baggage' that the Roan sales today did. That political baggage raised the perceived risk to such an extent that companies reduced their bids dramatically.

"There is no hocus-pocus to estimating Colorado's loss today.  It's pretty simple arithmetic.  Ken Salazar and Bill Ritter cost Colorado a cool billion dollars today."

"The cold hard truth is that the political poison that these two injected into the debate got them some headlines in the press but cost our state hundreds and hundreds of of millions of dollars," Schnacke said.

"It is all about perceived political risk and how that devalues a project like this," said Schnacke. "A company looks long and hard at an investment that carries with it the risk of a state's Governor or Senator trying to delay and stop the project.  It just isn't worth as much."

"Bill Ritter and Ken Salazar gave away the store today and it cost Colorado a cool billion dollars."


At 10 a.m. today, Gov. Bill Ritter, Don Elliman, director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, and other officials will be announcing a major expansion of Denmark-based Vestas' manufacturing operations in Colorado. Vestas currently produces giant wind blades at a 650-employee facility in Windsor.
WHO: Gov. Ritter, Economic Development Director Don Elliman and others.
WHAT:  Press conference to announce more than 1,000 new Vestas jobs at new facilities in Colorado.
WHERE: West Foyer, State Capitol.
WHEN: 10 a.m. today (Friday, Aug. 15, 2008).

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Gov. Bill Ritter issued the following statement criticizing today's auctioning of more than 55,000 acres on the Roan Plateau by the Bush Administration's Bureau of Land Management:
"For more than a year, the oil and gas industry and some politicians have claimed that a Roan Plateau lease sale would generate proceeds of up to $2 billion. Today, we learned just how wrong and over-exaggerated those claims were.
"Today is a sad day for Colorado. It's a missed opportunity – one we will never get back, one that falls squarely on the shoulders of the Bush Administration, which is rushing through bad fiscal policy in its waning days. The BLM's decision to lease the entire top of the Roan Plateau all at once has severely shortchanged Colorado citizens. The federal government has done a tremendous disservice to our state and to every Western Slope community impacted by drilling.
"It's a missed opportunity to help local communities address impacts to roads, schools, water supplies and essential services. It's a missed opportunity for Colorado universities and Colorado college students. It's a missed opportunity for every community trying to create sustainable economies and sustainable futures for their children, residents and local businesses.
"Late last year, my Administration proposed a phased leasing strategy that would have maximized the value of the natural-gas resource beneath the Roan over a longer period of time. We reiterated the phased leasing approach in a protest filed with the BLM last month. We warned that an all-at-once lease sale would result in vastly undervalued bids. Unfortunately, those predictions turned out to be true.
"Phased leasing would have resulted in substantially higher bids for two reasons. First, phased leasing would have allowed the state to receive higher revenues as the price of natural gas increased. Second, phased leasing would have allowed each ridge to recognize its present value, without the deep discount we saw today reflecting the fact that certain parcels will not be developed for many years to come.
"I remain committed to responsible energy development in Colorado. We are doing our part, and we will continue to do our part to supplyAmerica's energy needs. By the end of this year, we will have issued more than 7,000 new drilling permits, compared with 1,000 issued in 1999. But the fact remains -- today's auction was anything but responsible."


Gov. Ritter will hold a news conference at 3:30 p.m. today in the West Foyer of the State Capitol to discuss this morning's Roan Plateau lease sale.
WHAT: Roan Plateau news conference
WHO: Gov. Ritter and Department of Natural Resources Executive Director Harris Sherman
WHEN: 3:30 p.m. today (Thursday, Aug. 14, 2008)
WHERE: West Foyer, State Capitol