When you turn on the news, the steady stream of reports on the challenges facing our nation and the world can at times seem overwhelming. We hear of groups around the globe like Al Qaeda, ISIS and Boko Haram inflicting violence and terror, and of threats from radicals looking to disrupt peace and kill innocent Americans because of where we live and what we stand for as a free people.
Despite these challenges and threats, Americans for the most part are able to live safely and securely here at home. That is because of the willingness of a special few who serve in our nation’s Armed Forces and stand in harm’s way.
Since its founding, America has had to fight for its survival, and in doing so, has advanced the cause of liberty around the world. That’s the great thing about our country; its very existence has, more than any other nation in history, made the world a safer and better place to live. The actions taken by a small group of Americans in service to our nation, including those who fought in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan, have had an incredible impact on the history of the world and are the reason we are able to live freely in this incredible country and join together on Memorial Day to honor their sacrifices.
One of the brave individuals whose memory we celebrate is Pfc. George Geer from my hometown of Cortez, Colorado. Pfc. Geer was one of a long line of descendants in his family, stretching all the way back to the Revolutionary War, to serve this country. He was a gunner with the 503rd Airborne Infantry, stationed in Ramadi when he was tragically killed in 2005, far from his family and the snowcapped mountains of Southwest Colorado where he loved to hunt and ski, and the fields at Dolores High School where he was a four sport athlete.
Pfc. Geer could have chosen a more common path in life like most of us do, but like his ancestors before him, he put aside his safety and security and answered a special call to defend our nation. Thank God for Pfc. Geer and those like him.
This Memorial Day in Cortez, the community will dedicate an open space area in honor of his memory. This area will pay tribute to the life of this American hero and serve as a reminder of the profound sacrifice Pfc. Geer and all of the men and women who have lost their lives in service to our nation have made. It will be an honor and privilege to take part in the dedication ceremony and share in this special day with Pfc. Geer’s family.
While Memorial Day is a special day to focus on and pay tribute to the fallen, it’s important to keep their memory alive year round and never forget the sacrifices made by these few special Americans including Pfc. George Geer. Every day that we are able to live free and in peace here at home is a testament to their lives.
Thank you to all of our veterans and to the families of those who have lost a loved one in defense of this great nation. God bless all of you and God bless the USA.Read More
Urge Interior to take all necessary and appropriate action, consider appeal
WASHINGTON– Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) and Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) today urged Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to instruct the Office of Surface Mining (OSM) to take action to prevent the impending closure of the Colowyo mine and loss of hundreds of jobs in Moffat County, Colorado.
“We write to urge you to take all necessary and appropriate action to ensure the continued operation of the Colowyo Coal Mine, which is a critical component of northwest Colorado’s regional economy and has responsibly operated in the eight years since the mine plan approval was issued by your office,” Tipton and Gardner wrote. “Coal produced by this mine, located in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties, is then used to generate power at the Craig station and is responsible for employing over 200 people with a payroll of around $20 million dollars. Requested actions include urgently deploying sufficient personnel with the resources and expertise to complete the supplemental NEPA work within the 120 day window provided by the District Court.”
Earlier this month, Judge R. Brooke Jackson of the Federal District Court for the District of Colorado issued an order determining that in 2007 OSM failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) when it issued a mine plan approval for the Colowyo Coal Mine. The Court gave OSM a narrow120 day window to prepare a new analysis, and stated that it would effectively shut down the mine should the deadline not be met.
“In addition, we strongly urge OSM to evaluate the propriety of an appeal. Without remarking on the reasoning of the Court contained within the decision itself, the result nonetheless creates adverse precedent with other suits pending, which would harm not only Colowyo and the town of Craig, but potentially numerous other mining operations and towns in other states as well,” Tipton and Gardner wrote. “The federal government must vigorously defend the legality of its permitting actions, and leave policy debates over the role of coal to the legislative and rulemaking proceedings where those debates belong.”
The full text of the letter is available HERE and below:
The Honorable Sally Jewell
Secretary of the Interior
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20240
On May 8, 2015, the Federal District Court for the District of Colorado issued an order determining that the Office of Surface Mining (“OSM”) failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) in 2007, when it issued a mine plan approval for the Colowyo Coal Mine. The Court gave OSM 120 days to prepare a new analysis and issue a new decision. If OSM does not complete the process in 120 days, the Court stated that it would vacate the mine plan, effectively shutting down the Mine.
We write to urge you to take all necessary and appropriate action to ensure the continued operation of the Colowyo Coal Mine, which is a critical component of northwest Colorado’s regional economy and has responsibly operated in the eight years since the mine plan approval was issued by your office. Coal produced by this mine, located in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties, is then used to generate power at the Craig station and is responsible for employing over 200 people with a payroll of around $20 million dollars. Requested actions include urgently deploying sufficient personnel with the resources and expertise to complete the supplemental NEPA work within the 120 day window provided by the District Court.
Colowyo Coal Mine is a significant contributor to both of the counties’ economies. The adverse effects of shutting down this mine go beyond the jobs at the mine that would be lost. We surely do not need to impress upon your office the potentially devastating impact of reducing operations at two of the counties’ largest employers as well as one of the largest electricity providers in the western half of the state.
In addition, we strongly urge OSM to evaluate the propriety of an appeal. Without remarking on the reasoning of the Court contained within the decision itself, the result nonetheless creates adverse precedent with other suits pending, which would harm not only Colowyo and the town of Craig, but potentially numerous other mining operations and towns in other states as well. The federal government must vigorously defend the legality of its permitting actions, and leave policy debates over the role of coal to the legislative and rulemaking proceedings where those debates belong.
Cory Gardner Scott Tipton
United States Senator Member of Congress
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WASHINGTON– Today, Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) underscored the impractical nature of the federal government’s proposed listing of the Greater Sage Grouse under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). During the House Committee on Natural Resources hearing on “Empowering State Management of Greater Sage Grouse,” witnesses from the states of Colorado, Utah and Idaho told Tipton that not only have federal agencies not provided recovery goals, but even if they did and the states met those goals, states would still remain subject to an ESA listing should it go into effect over the 11 state range.
Watch Tipton’s exchange with the witnesses HERE.
Tipton asked John Swartout, Senior Policy Advisor with the Office of Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, “If we had a recovery number in the State of Colorado, which we don’t, and then met that hypothetical goal - we still wouldn’t be taken off of the listing, would we?”
“No, not likely,” Swartout said, and agreed with Tipton that this doesn’t make sense.
Swartout heralded state and local efforts underway to track and recover the Sage Grouse species and told Tipton that after “an enormous investment from the State of Colorado in science,” the species habitat maps produced by the state covered a smaller expanse of land than the broader federal maps because they took into greater account the land’s capacity for the species and whether the local ecological conditions meet the grouses’ needs.
Tipton, a vocal proponent of state and local species preservation efforts in Congress, has held and participated in numerous Congressional oversight hearings on the issue, worked to advance numerous pieces of legislation in previous Congresses to increase transparency in the ESA listing process and encourage local species preservation plans over federal listings.
Tipton has co-sponsored legislation in the House carried by Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) and Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) in the Senate to provide a six year window for state-based sage grouse recovery efforts to succeed in lieu of a less-effective one-size-fits-all federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing that could upend these ongoing local efforts. The House passed a ten year prohibition on an ESA listing for the Greater Sage Grouse as part of the National Defense Authorization Act last week.
Learn more about H.R. 1997, the Sage Grouse Protection and Conservation Act HERE.
See a list of witnesses and their full testimony HERE.Read More
WASHINGTON – Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) issued this statement on House passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) today:
“Congress’s top responsibility is to ensure that our troops have the tools, training and technology to defend our nation and do their jobs as safely as possible. The NDAA that we passed today fulfills that duty, while including responsible reforms to eliminate waste and bureaucracy within the Department of Defense. It includes provisions to fund the chemical weapons destruction program as requested by my office, providing support for the important work being done in Pueblo, Colorado to fulfill our nation’s treaty obligations.
“The bill also includes a number of provisions that directly impact issues in the 3rd Congressional District including a ten year prohibition on a federal Endangered Species Act listing of the sage grouse. While I would prefer a standalone bill on the sage grouse issue, given the political realities of Washington, this is likely to be the best opportunity to get something into law to address the issue and prevent a heavy-handed federal listing that would upend successful state and local preservation efforts underway. Scientific experts have provided abundant testimony stating that locally tailored species preservation plans, like those underway in Colorado and neighboring states that take into consideration the unique topographic and ecological conditions of the region, are more effective than one-size-fits-all ESA listings out of Washington. These local efforts should have a chance to succeed to best ensure a robust and healthy sage grouse population.”
Learn more about the NDAA and see the full bill HERE.Read More
WASHINGTON – Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) issued this statement on Colorado U.S. District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson’s ruling against the Colowyo mine in Moffat County:
“Mines in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District not only provide critical jobs in their communities, they also provide the coal that makes the affordable electricity on which countless Americans rely, especially those on fixed incomes. The future of one such mine, operated by Colowyo in Moffat County, is now in jeopardy after a federal judge sided with a radical environmentalist group notorious for filing lawsuits (at the expense of taxpayers who often end up footing their litigation bill) to restrict access to public lands and block development and energy production - regardless of how responsibly it’s done. The Office of Surface Mining (OSM) now has 120 days to address deficiencies in the permitting process (this is a ridiculously short time frame), or the judge will order the mine to close. The OSM is not appealing the decision as it complements the Administration’s overall attacks on affordable energy production that have cost hundreds of jobs in the 3rd District alone.
“I want the people of Moffat County to know that they are not alone in this. I am working with stakeholders to identify the next steps and am committed to doing everything within my power to fight for affordable, reliable and responsible energy production.”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) has co-sponsored legislation to replace the President’s failed healthcare law with a solution that would make healthcare affordable and accessible to all Americans through a market-based, patient centered approach. Tipton also co-sponsored the Empowering Patients First Act (H.R. 2300) in the 113th Congress. The measure was reintroduced this week.
“This is not about politics or who is right or wrong; it’s about achieving a goal that we all agree on—affordable and accessible healthcare for all Americans. The Empowering Patients First Act provides the opportunity for that to happen by putting control of healthcare choices back in the hands of patients and their doctors, creating a market-based structure that will keep prices low and expand access to quality care.
“There’s a big difference between having healthcare and having health insurance, and under the President’s failed law many Americans have found that out the hard way. Americans have been forced off plans they were promised they could keep, senior citizens have lost their doctors, and many families and individuals have found that the premiums and deductibles under Obamacare have not saved them any money, as the President repeatedly promised the program would. Unlike the President’s healthcare law, the market-based alternative that I support empowers patients and doctors, enacts tort reform, allows for greater flexibility, portability and cost savings through competition, while continuing to provide coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. This is a replacement solution we can all get behind to fix our nation’s broken healthcare system and give all Americans access to affordable, quality healthcare.”
Background on H.R. 2300, The Empowering Patients First Act, can be found HERE.Read More
WASHINGTON—The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation co-sponsored by Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) to protect private water rights from burdensome federal regulations under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers’ (Army Corps) controversial ‘waters of the US’ rule. The Regulatory Integrity Protection Act (H.R. 1732), which passed last evening, would prohibit the EPA and Army Corps from implementing the proposed rule which redefines “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act to include bodies of all sizes and flows—virtually every form of surface water. View the full draft EPA rule HERE.
The EPA has been unable to clarify the scope of the ‘waters of the US’ rule. Last year, Tipton asked EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe during a House Small Business Committee hearing to clarify exactly what water resources would be covered under the proposed rule. Perciasepe failed to clearly define what water would be impacted, adding to widespread concerns that the EPA is moving toward a massive federal water grab through expanded regulatory reach over virtually every form of surface water.
“This Administration has developed a notorious reputation in the West for its steady erosion of private property rights and restricted access to public lands and resources,” said Tipton. “Today the House struck a powerful blow against one of the most egregious cases of the federal government attempting to interfere with or take the water rights countless Americans rely on for their livelihoods and for the well-being of their communities.”
Tipton has led the charge in the House to protect private water rights from federal takings and interference. Tipton’s Water Rights Protection Act passed the House with bipartisan support in the 113th Congress and has been reintroduced in the 114th Congress in both chambers (H.R. 1830).Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) encouraged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to continue moving forward with reforms to modernize the Universal Service Fund (USF) meant to increase rural broadband access.
With some rural communities in Colorado’s 3rd District still without high-speed internet, Tipton has fought to expand rural Broadband access since coming to Congress. Learn more about his efforts HERE.
In a letter to FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler, Tipton and his colleagues wrote:
Dear Chairman Wheeler:
On May 6, 2014, nearly 90 U.S. House members signed a bipartisan letter calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to move forward on reforms to the Universal Service Fund (USF) to ensure that consumers in areas served by small, rate-of-return providers have the same choice among reasonably comparable telecom services at reasonably comparable rates that urban consumers already benefit from. But outdated rules tie USF support for small rate-of-return-regulated carriers to the provision of “plain old telephone service” (POTS), meaning their rural customers must purchase voice in order to receive affordable broadband. It is long past time to finish the job by updating USF for a marketplace that gives consumers a full set of choices between quality voice and broadband services. Small rural carriers have worked hard to provide innovative services to some of the most difficult-to-serve parts of our country, only to see obsolete, anti-consumer rules put broadband out of the reach of some consumers by unnecessarily cutting support.
The FCC is in its fourth year of work on the Connect America Fund (CAF) that distributes USF support to larger price cap carriers and – because it isn’t tied specifically to the purchase of voice – enables those providers to offer broadband-only service to their rural customers. The amount of time it has taken just to implement the CAF for 13 larger carriers – a number of whom have indicated the CAF still might not work for them – makes clear that a much simpler and straightforward plan that similarly empowers rate-of-return carriers and their customers is needed. Long-term options for USF support modifications can and certainly should be explored as well, but not at the expense of an immediate, targeted solution to the issue highlighted in this and last year’s letters.
We continue to support efforts to update USF while applying appropriate, sufficient program budgets and ensuring USF distributions are invested prudently and reasonably, which helps provide the credibility necessary for the FCC to fulfill its statutory mandate. Previous USF reform stumbles have hindered rural broadband investment, and your agency now has an opportunity to provide certainty to small, rural carriers, encourage investment in rural broadband, and offer consumers greater choice by finally reforming USF for the broadband era.
We look forward to working with you to accomplish in the very near future what already has broad support in Congress and will be essential to providing all Americans with the opportunity to participate in the global broadband economy.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
See a pdf of the letter HERE.Read More
Congressman Scott Tipton will hold a town hall meeting in Alamosa on Thursday, May 28. During the meeting Tipton will answer questions from constituents and provide an update on current issues and legislation. The meeting will last approximately one hour.
Congressman Scott Tipton will hold a town hall meeting in Durango on Tuesday, May 26. During the meeting Tipton will answer questions from constituents and provide an update on current issues and legislation. The meeting will last approximately one hour.
218 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Scott Tipton was raised in Cortez, Colorado. He graduated from Ft. Lewis College in Durango, where he studied Political Science and became the first person in his family to earn a college degree. After college, he returned home to Cortez and co-founded Mesa Verde Indian Pottery with his brother Joe. It was through his business that Scott met his wife, Jean, who is a former school teacher. The Tipton’s have two daughters, Liesl and Elizabeth, and two sons-in-law, Chris and Jace.
After a lifetime running his small business, Scott was elected as a Republican to the Colorado House of Representatives for the 58th District in November of 2008. During his time at the state House, he worked to ensure quality water for the people of Colorado and to improve the air quality of Southwest Colorado. He also sponsored legislation to protect children from the worst criminal offenders by mandating harsher penalties for child sex-offenders and allowing law enforcement to collect DNA evidence from suspects through Jessica’s Law and Katie’s Law.
Scott was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010 and again in 2012 for a second term.
In the 112th Congress, Scott pushed hard to advance a federal version of Katie’s Law to encourage additional states to implement minimum DNA collection standards and enhanced collection processes for felons in order to strengthen law enforcement’s ability to prevent violent crimes, and protect women and children. That effort became a reality when the President signed Katie’s Law on January 3, 2013.
Using his positions on the House Natural Resources, Agriculture and Small Business Committees, Scott has is fighting for the issues that most directly impact Coloradans, many of which involve our state’s extensive open spaces and natural resources. In his first term, Scott introduced legislation to encourage healthy forest management and prevent wildfire, as well as passed a bill in the House with bipartisan support to advance the development of clean, renewable hydropower. He is also leading the charge in Congress to stop a federal grab of privately-held water rights, standing up for farmers and ranchers, the ski industry, and all who rely on their water rights to survive.
Scott is champion of advancing an all-of-the-above energy solution that balances common sense conservation with responsible development. He passed the Planning for American Energy Act through the House (as a title under the American Domestic Energy and Jobs Act) to put requirements into place to develop wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal, oil, natural gas, coal, oil shale and minerals, based on the needs of the American people.
Scott has used his experience as a small businessman to inform his work as a Subcommittee Chairman on the Small Business Committee. Here he has worked to protect farmers and ranchers from regulatory overreach, as well as push for expanded trade opportunities for Colorado products. Scott is a co-founder of the Congressional Small Business Caucus, a bipartisan caucus committed to open dialogue on the issues that most impact small businesses. Members of the Congressional Small Business Caucus are dedicated to advancing efforts to foster the economic certainty needed for small businesses and entrepreneurs to succeed and create jobs.
In the 113th Congress, Scott continues to represent the many interests of one of the most diverse and geographically vast districts in the nation. He will fight to bring Colorado common sense to Washington—focusing on reforming regulation, protecting Colorado’s natural environment, encouraging responsible all-of-the-above energy development, reducing government spending, and removing hurdles so that small businesses can do what they do best—create jobs.
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Thinking of families who have lost a loved one in service to our great nation. God bless those who gave all for our freedom. #MemorialDay
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Humbled to be w/ the family of Pfc. George Geer in Cortez today to honor the memory of this fallen American hero: http://t.co/Zcgf0gxO7u
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I am humbled to stand beside the family of Pfc. George Geer of Cortez, Colorado at a ceremony today to dedicate an open space area in his honor.
ICYMI: Coverage in Craig Daily Press on our letter to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell urging action to save the Colowyo mine.
Senator Cory Gardner and I are pressuring Interior to take all necessary and appropriate action on the Colowyo mine. Hundreds of jobs are at
ICYMI: Coverage in The Daily Sentinel of Grand Junction on yesterday's House Committee on Natural Resources hearing on empowering state management
You can watch my exchange from today with the witnesses on sage grouse and learn more about legislative solutions in the works to prevent a federal