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Report: Big Oil "Hearts" Cory Gardner

October 18, 2011

GREELEY, Colo. - Big oil is a big fan of Colorado freshman Republican Congressman Cory Gardner. A new investigation by the Colorado Independent finds that in the last quarter, the oil and gas industry contributed more than one of every ten dollars raised by Gardner's re-election campaign.

Senior Reporter John Tomasic followed the money trail, and found Gardner is moving into uncharted territory in the Centennial State.

"He has raised the most money of any candidate in Colorado in this 2011 period, and the major concentration is oil and gas money. That's new for for the 4th Congressional District."

Tomasic says a recent congressional report found that Gardner voted for more than 150 bills that would block or lift longstanding regulations on air and water pollutants, and he supports an approach touted by Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry that more domestic drilling will solve the economic woes of Colorado and the nation.

"It seems a little 'retro,' you know, I think, to a lot of minds. And the amount of money he's raising and the kind of policies he's putting forth also raises a lot of eyebrows and a lot of skepticism."

Tomasic says the investigation found there's nothing illegal about Gardner's dependence on Big Oil for his fundraising.

"The question is not whether it's illegal or not, I think. The question is, I think, more on how this kind of financial support, and the need to gain this kind of financial support for politicians, shapes their views."

Gardner's staff has said that support from Big Oil makes sense, since energy production is a major industry in Colorado and oil and gas development can help wean the country from foreign oil dependence. Gardner has consistently voted to strip regulations from the oil and gas industry - and Fort Collins-based Clean Water Action dubbed him the most environmentally-unfriendly Congressman in the state's history.

The full report is at

Kathleen Ryan, Public News Service - CO