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Event Sparks Debate on How to Lower Gas Prices

Grace Hood
Running on Empty attracted about 70 people on Wednesday.

The Tea Party group Americans for Prosperity stopped in Fort Collins today to protest the high price of gasoline. But as many—if not more—counter protesters showed up for the rally.

The event was anchored by a giant inflatable red gas pump that read "Regulations have America Running on Empty." And some of the exchanges between groups were just as hot as the weather on the crowd of about 70.

Running on Empty is part of a multi-state tour organized by Americans for Prosperity. Jeff Crank is state director for the group, which has financial ties to the oil industry. He said gas prices have become too onerous since President Obama was elected.

“There is a cost to over regulation, and I think that’s what we’re seeing right now,” he said.

Crank said this is playing out on Colorado’s Roan Plateau, where oil and gas exploration has slowed down. But Kjersten Forseth with the liberal group ProgressNow said over regulation is not the problem.

“If we really want to lower gas prices for Americans let’s get rid of the oil subsidies,” she said.

The tour has already made stops in nine states including Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. The Northern Colorado visits wrap up in Longmont tonight, and will shift to Highlands Ranch and Colorado Springs on Thursday.