GOP candidate Romney holds Craig business roundtable

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— Steamboat Springs businessman Scott Cook, owner of Cook Chevrolet, said new finance regulations are hindering him in the marketplace.

He took his concerns Tuesday to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who sat down with a group of business owners and industry representatives at a Craig hotel before a public appearance at Alice Pleasant Park.

Cook said the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which was drafted to create more accountability in the financial system following the recession, has “created some huge compliance issues” in the finance and insurance departments of his business, which has locations in Craig and Steamboat.

Federal regulations were a theme throughout the meeting.

Ken Anderson, Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association executive vice president and general manager, highlighted the impact government rules have on the company, which operates the Craig Station power plant.

“It was a great opportunity to raise awareness with Mr. Romney about the energy sector and the increasing number of federal regulations that are making it more and more difficult for us to produce and deliver reliable and affordable power to the rural West,” Anderson wrote in an email. Romney “seems to understand the challenges this country is facing in terms of energy and the burden that over-regulation is causing, along with the far-reaching implications they have on communities like Craig and others throughout our member co-op service territory,” Anderson wrote

Preserving the local coal and oil industry was a top concern for Cornerstone Realty Ltd. co-owner Sari Cobb, who called it “the guts of the support in Craig’s infrastructure right now.”

Cobb left Tuesday’s meeting with the impression she and other attendees had been heard.

Romney “was listening very carefully,” she said. “He was asking questions. It was real obvious that he wanted to hear what we had to say. You could tell that he was totally engaged.”

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