Bennet hammers Buck for 'extreme' position on climate change

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) is slamming Republican opponent Ken Buck for his comments in a news account in which he said global warming is a hoax.

Bennet — locked in a tight race with the Tea Party favorite — said through an aide Thursday that Buck’s view is at odds with the economic benefits that low-carbon energy brings Colorado.

“Ken Buck’s extreme stance on climate change is a threat to Colorado’s economy and could prove cataclysmic for our national security,” said Bennet spokesman Trevor Kincaid in a statement. Kincaid noted the Pentagon’s view that climate change is a security issue.

“Michael Bennet believes that climate change is real, and that we need to grow our economy by embracing clean energy alternatives, like solar, wind, and other renewable sources of energy. Michael believes that Colorado is uniquely positioned to lead the world in the new energy economy,” Bennet’s campaign said.

The campaign cited a Fort Collins Coloradoan story that describes a Buck campaign appearance Wednesday with Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), who has long called global warming a hoax.

"Sen. Inhofe was the first person to stand up and say this global warming is the greatest hoax that has been perpetrated. The evidence just keeps supporting his view, and more and more people's view, of what's going on,” Buck said, according to the account.

A spokesman for Buck could not be reached for comment. Buck’s campaign has been on the defensive over comments in which he called homosexuality a choice and appeared to compare it to alcoholism.

But Bennet’s decision to go on the attack over climate change bucks a trend this year in which Republicans have frequently gone after Democrats on the issue. In particular, many House Democrats have faced criticism over their vote for cap-and-trade legislation.

A number of GOP Senate candidates this year say they don’t believe human activity is causing global warming, even though this is the dominant — but not unanimous — view among climate scientists.

John Raese, the Republican battling West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin (D) in a tight Senate race there, called global warming a “myth” in a debate this week.