600 KCOL Mornings, Cory Gardner, 9/02/2010

Station: KCOL

Show: 600 KCOL Mornings

Guest: Cory Gardner

Link: http://www.600kcol.com/main.html

Date: 9/02/2010

Topics: Cap-and-Trade Energy Bill.

Click Here for Audio

FALLEN: During a recent radio interview CD4 Representative Betsy Markey defended her vote in favor of a national energy tax saying that it will negatively impact agriculture in rural America.  Now as you may know and you may be actively involved in the process, the Fourth Congressional District is one of the largest agricultural districts in the nation.  And GOP CD4 candidate Cory Gardner takes issue with Representative Markey’s assessment of the implications of that tax.  Cory Gardner joins us this morning.  Cory welcome again to 600 KCOL Mornings.

GARDNER: Hey good morning Gail thanks for having me

FALLEN: You betcha. How are you doing this morning?

GARDNER: I am doing great.  And you?

FALLEN: I am doing well.  So walk me through this.  Walk me through her statement and why you take issue with it.

GARDNER: This is something that Congresswoman Markey has said from day one, her vote for the national energy tax will not affect or impact agriculture but that in fact will help agriculture.  And what we know from the numbers, what we know from rural electrical associations, what we know from research that has been done around the country is quite the opposite is true.  This is going to very much increase the costs of agricultural production.  It’s going to cost farmers who irrigate thousands and thousands of dollars more a year.  It is going to drive up the cost of fertilizer and inputs into their farming operation and drive up the cost of manufacturing.  Things like tractors and combines.  The American Farm Bureau in fact has called this very difficult and painful piece of legislation for the American farmer.  Knowing that will hurt their bottom-line and make it even more difficult to make ends meet on Colorado’s farms and ranches.

FALLEN: Cory, I might be conflating issues here, so please set the straight, if indeed that is the case.  I was coincidentally talking with Ben Marter, who is the Communications Coordinator for Betsy Markey’s campaign.  Mentioned that I would be talking with you this morning and, of course in the interest of being somewhat fair and balanced, which we endeavor to do, invited Representative Markey on the air. Unfortunately this morning she had a scheduling conflict so we’re going to talk to her next week.  Ben said that when it comes to the energy bill, and he actually sent me a backgrounder on it that was prepared by the Samuel Roberts Nobel Foundation, let me just read this excerpt that he sent me via e-mail. “In the current version of the proposed cap-and-tax legislation, production agriculture is exempt from the restrictions associated with the program. As a result farmers and ranchers will not be required to track and/or offset their greenhouse gas emissions.”  Does this apply?

GARDNER: You know what they are trying to do is they are trying to have it both ways.  They are trying to say that this does not apply to agriculture but what he is saying is that you’re not going to have to have a carbon meter on your cow.  On the business end of the cow, that is going to be exempt.

FALLEN: That could get messy.

GARDNER: But making the tractor, preferring the fertilizer, paying for your energy, those will all be impacted by this national energy tax.  It’s disingenuous to say that production agriculture is exempted.  In fact, I’m not going to cite some highfalutin foundation for their statistics, I will cite our local neighbors, the rural electric associations who sent out letters to every single one other members saying if this bill passes, it will increase the cost of irrigation to every farmer who irrigates.  That is the bottom-line.  That is not a foundation from Washington D.C. That’s our neighbors in Colorado saying this will impact production agriculture.

FALLEN: To be more specific, and I’m working from a release from your campaign Cory, the Highline Electric associations has publicly come out saying the national energy tax would increase farmer electric bills by $1,963 per year, telling its members that “this bill, as now drafted, will cause major economic harm to those in Northeast Colorado.”  You also cite a 2009 Heritage Foundation study. “The national energy tax, commonly referred to as cap-and-trade, would cause the construction cost of building to go up and income to drop.”  In today’s tightened economy, that is certainly something that really, farmers in particular, those that are involved in agriculture, really can’t afford.

GARDNER: No, that is right.  And if you look at the farm and ranch operations, they operate on a very thin margin the way it is.  And every cost that increases makes it more difficult to pass on to future generations.  Once again, Congresswoman Markey has voted against the interests of the Fourth Congressional District.  We presented and carried a campaign forward on real solutions.  Providing opportunities that we know we’ll get this country back on track with the jobs and make our economy move forward again.  We have a positive message of real solutions.  And we’re excited to talk about that but we want to make sure that people understand will not be voting for things that will devastate the economy of the Fourth Congressional District like cap and trade, unfortunately like my opponent has done.

FALLEN: Cory, not to put you on the spot this morning but certainly something that has garnered many of our thoughts as we look at the embattled GOP candidate for Governor Dan Maes, Hank Brown, former U.S. Senator and former University of Colorado President, Wednesday said he is no longer backing GOP gubernatorial hopeful Dan Maes and is looking around for a new candidate.  Have you endorsed a candidate for governor?

GARDNER: I have been so focused on my campaign in the Fourth Congressional District and I did not want to get in the middle of something between Dan Maes and Hank Brown.  So I don’t even want to speculate at this point what is going on.

FALLEN: Cory where can we find out more about you and your campaign?

GARDNER: If you go to CoryGardner.com. We’ve got a great web site with lots of information. Join us on Twitter, join us on Facebook, give us a phone call.  We are going to win this race by going door-to-door, neighbor to neighbor, Main Street to Main Street.  We’re working hard to get our positive message out and certainly would be honored if anybody in your listing area with love to come on give us a helping hand.

FALLEN: Cory so appreciate your time this morning, thanks and best wishes on the campaign trail.