Seven states, 7,000 miles and 10,000 signatures. That’s the planned itinerary of the Energy for America bus tour that stopped in Craig, Colo., earlier this week at the approximate half-way point of its cross-country trek. The campaign promotes the use of domestic natural resources and illustrates the value to the communities that benefit from their use. Situated in a resource-rich part of northwest Colorado, Craig is a great example of what energy development and electricity production means to a community.
The Energy for America initiative was launched earlier this month by the American Energy Alliance (AEA), in conjunction with the Institute for Energy Research and Americans for Prosperity, in an effort to “educate Americans about the extent of the nation’s natural resource base and the perversity of federal energy policies that avoid reliable, affordable, proven domestic energy sources and embrace unreliable, expensive and unproven energy sources.”
AEA president Tom Pyle spoke to the Craig City Council on Oct. 25 and offered a resolution in support of domestic energy production and job creation. “The United States has the largest energy reserves on Earth,” he said. “Our supplies of natural gas, oil, coal and hydropower can supply this nation with all the energy we need for hundreds of years. Unfortunately, anti-energy activists, both inside and outside the government want to make energy scarce and more expensive by limiting our access, increasing energy taxes and regulating America’s energy producers.”
To further build grassroots support in local communities that depend on well-paying energy related jobs, significant property tax base and related economic development drivers, Energy for America has taken its message on the road. The group’s colorful, well-branded bus is crisscrossing the country and giving local citizens the opportunity to sign the bus in support of its mission, before being driven back to its final destination in Washington, D.C., as a message on wheels to Congress symbolizing how many people back American energy.
The rolling billboard was on site at Craig Station on Wednesday morning (Oct. 26), where approximately 50 Tri-State plant personnel braved the cold, snowy weather to add their signatures to the bus. Following that, several American Energy Alliance staff members spent a large part of the day touring the facility and the adjacent Trapper Mine, one of two fuel sources for the power plant.
“They were impressed with our facility and our ability to generate safe, reliable, affordable and environmentally compliant electricity using the abundant coal supplies in northwest Colorado,” said Tri-State plant manager Rick Johnson.
AEA media director Jeffrey Hubbard explained, “This whole bus tour is designed to remind people that we are a resource rich nation. If we had access to these natural resources, we could create good-paying jobs and with those good-paying jobs we could have economic growth. The only obstacle standing in our way is Congress and unelected bureaucrats at the EPA.”