Colorado School of Mines’s “M” can be seen on the foothills over attendees of President Obama’s event in Golden. Instagram photo by Alison Noon.
“This is too pretty, I don’t know how you get any work done here,” Barack Obama said after taking the podium in Golden, Colo. for his eighth political event in the swing state this year. “It is great to be back in Colorado.”
A crowd of 8,400 people gathered to hear the president speak Thursday afternoon at Lions Park in Golden, a suburb of Denver nestled at the base of Colorado’s foothills.
At the nearby Colorado School of Mines, a prestigious engineering university distinguished by responsible stewardship of natural resources, 5,500 students started fall classes last month. The original Coors brewery is one half mile northeast of the park and on the town main drag, Washington Street, a large wooden sign reads, “Howdy folks! Welcome to Golden, where the west lives.”
Jefferson County has been overwhelmed with politicians this election, representing the suburbia vote that could swing Colorado’s nine electoral votes in the presidential race. Paul Ryan spoke at Lakewood High School on Aug. 14, Mitt Romney held an event at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds on Aug. 2 and Michelle Obama visited Littleton High School on June 20, all in Jefferson County. At each event, more tickets were given out than venue capacity.
Jefferson County is dotted with wind turbines, it is a region with “superb” wind energy capabilities according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Home of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the county is a hub of energy innovation, which was a main talking point of Obama’s on Thursday.
“We’ve doubled the amount of renewable energy that we generate from sources like wind and solar power. Thousands of Americans here in Colorado and all across the country have jobs today building wind turbines and long lasting batteries, solar panels, and today the United States of America is less dependent on foreign oil than any time in nearly two decades.”
Obama commented on the wind energy tax credit, which contributes funding to employers of as many as 5,000 jobs in Colorado and expires at the end of this year.
“I’m not going to get rid of the wind energy tax credit that is helping to spur this incredibly dynamic sector of our economy,” he said. “We need to keep investing in wind and solar and make sure our farmers and scientists are harnessing new biofuels.”
Interior Sec. Ken Salazar, a former Senator from Colorado, was back in his home state Thursday, traveling to the University of Colorado at Boulder after making an appearance at Obama’s event.
“Looking after the natural resources in America, Ken Salazar is in the house,” the president announced.
“We’re seeing thousands and thousands of jobs being created through wind, solar, geothermal and advanced biofuels in our country,” Salazar said Wednesday on a conference call with Colorado media. “That is in part because of the increase in production we’re seeing across the country, but also in my home state, Colorado.”
The Romney Victory Bus, which toted Mitt Romney’s son Josh and former Colorado Rep. Bob Beauprez, parked outside the Old Capitol Grill on Washington Street. during Obama’s event in Golden. It drew about 150 people.
The Romney bus headed to Boulder, Colo. after the Golden stop, where Josh Romney made remarks in front of roughly 100 University of Colorado students and residents.