Last week we reported that Representative Jared Polis had gone to court to try stopping a gas drilling operation on property adjacent to a farm he owns near Berthoud. The congressman abruptly withdrew that lawsuit, but that doesn't mean he's resigned to getting fracked. Instead, he's put out a four-minute video, taking us on a tour of his Weld County retreat and the monster rig next door, denouncing the noisy and smelly operation, and declaring that his family "is now the victim of the under-regulated drilling process called hydraulic fracturing."
"This part of our Colorado dream is over," Polis says in the video. "It's pretty much too late for us...this place will never be the same."
Polis's very public outrage over fracking that gets too close to home has already drawn fire from political opponents, eager to point out his substantial investments in the oil and gas industry. Doubtless the video will attract some derision as well (isn't that a fossil-fuel burning vehicle Polis drives up to his dream home?). But Polis makes the case that the drilling rig's abrupt intrusion into his peaceful retreat has made him a "poster boy" in the fracking wars, reinforcing longstanding concerns about whether the state provides adequate regulation of drilling operations.
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Polis has also filed a complaint with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission against the drilling company, Sundance Energy. According to the Daily Camera, the company reduced the height of its derrick and insists it's now in compliance with state law.
But Polis contends that the state's lax approach to drilling allows much of the damage to be done before property owners can properly challenge the process. If it can happen to a congressman, he suggests, it can happen to anyone. Check out his argument in the video below.
More from our Environment archive: "Frack wars: Groups call for Matt Lepore to resign, while Jared Polis sues to stop drilling."