October 8, 2018

Congressman Ken Buck scoffed as the United Nations released its most dire climate emergency warning yet, urging the world to take immediate action to cut carbon emissions.

“Drill, baby, drill,” Buck said during a televised debate with Dr. Karen McCormick, the veterinarian and small business owner challenging Buck in Colorado’s fourth Congressional district. “It’s natural, folks. It’s organic. It’s non-GMO, for those of you that care about that issue. It’s beautiful.”

While Buck blames insects for the wildfires that have burned nearly eight million acres in the west this year, McCormick says Buck is ignoring the role of climate in creating the conditions in which mountain pine beetles proliferate.

“Beetle kill is not due to the mismanagement of forests here in Colorado,” she says. “Winter after winter, we are not having the extended cold weather that we used to have in the past. I know this from talking to people in the field.” NASA research indicates that pine beetle activity may actually reduce wildfire danger.

McCormick says she wants to help Colorado benefit as much as possible from the inevitable transition to an advanced energy economy. “I call it a goldmine above the ground, here in the Fourth Congressional,” she said. “We have wind, we have solar, we have a tremendous opportunity.”

“Nothing beats clean coal,” Buck said.

But Colorado’s largest energy provider knows time is running out for coal power. That’s why Xcel is investing heavily in wind energy and plans to shut down two of its coal-fired power plants because building new wind energy plants with battery storage technology is now cheaper than continuing to operate old coal-fired power plants.

“Colorado can’t afford a representative who won’t protect the natural resources our state’s most important industries depend on,” McCormick says. “We are having more and more severe hailstorms in our district. We’re in the 18th year of a very severe drought. The Outdoor Industry Association recently gave my opponent a D on its Congressional scorecard. That’s the worst grade for any Colorado representative.”