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Colorado Senate Candidate Rants Against ‘Radical Environmentalists’ in 2013 Video

CREDIT: AP
CREDIT: AP

In his race to unseat Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, Republican Cory Gardner has worked overtime to present a more moderate version of himself to voters, renouncing his previous support of a “personhood” referendum in Colorado, for instance.

But the real extreme views of the man the National Journal rated as the 10th most conservative member of the U.S. House can’t be airbrushed away.

The latest example comes in a previously obscure video, unearthed by Brad Johnson, of remarks Gardner delivered in August, 2013 at a conference sponsored by the Steamboat Institute in Steamboat Springs Colorado.

In his kickoff address to the group’s annual conference, Gardner referred to people who question the runaway oil and gas boom In Colorado and elsewhere in the U.S. as “radical environmentalists” and “social engineers,” kicking off an energetic call to arms for the fossil fuel industry:

We have to stand up to the radical environmentalists, the social engineers who believe that we must stop. And in Colorado we know that threat is real. We know they’re going to try to stop something that is creating jobs on the eastern plains and the western slope of this great state. We know they’re going to try to say no to the Marcellus, no to the Bakken. They’ve already tried to say no to the Keystone pipeline. But you know what? We know we’re going to win because of the power of our individual job creators. They are right, they are with us. And when the individuals realize what is at stake in this country, we will rise up, and we will win! The shale revolution is real!

The Steamboat Institute touts its mission as educating the public on the “Founding Principles of the United States” and describes its members as “Defenders of Freedom and Advocates of Liberty.”

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In his remarks kicking off the institute’s 2013 meeting, Gardner also blasted President Obama as someone who was misappropriating executive powers and undermining the Constitution.

Obama, said Gardner “threatens the very stability of our country,” and declared that “we must stop him.”

We must force this president to abide by the law, through act of Congress, through act of court, through act of individuals, we cannot allow this president to continue this intentional misappropriation of power.

Among Republicans on Capitol Hill, President Obama’s proposed rules to cut back on carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants are among the most controversial of his executive actions. But in Colorado, a leader in moving to renewable energy and away from coal, the rules have stirred little controversy. And the Obama administration has been aggressive in leasing public lands for oil and gas development in Colorado and across the West.