By Chasity J. Barker, Esq.
Rep. Jared Polis, D. Boulder, who complained about a fracking rig next to his vacation property, says he got no preferential treatment from state regulators who fined the drilling company.
Polis discovered a drilling operation on property next to his vacation retreat last month. Polis has long voiced concerns about the public health impact of the drilling procedure known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and he filed a lawsuit against the producer, Sundance Energy. Polis said the drilling rig was too tall and too close to his land, among other complaints.
Polis later withdrew his lawsuit, telling supporters in an email that "the rules are biased toward the oil and gas industry." But he did file a complaint with Colorado's Oil & Gas Conservation Commission by Aug. 6.
Just two weeks later, the agency fined Sundance $26,000 and ordered it to meet with Polis to talk about reducing noise and dust. State Department of Natural Resources spokesman Todd Hartman had said earlier this month that the COGCC issued what is called an administrative order on consent, proposing $26,000 in penalties for the alleged violations. That required Sundance to meet with Polis and the COGCC to talk about drilling plans and mitigation measures, with all corrective actions to be completed by Friday.
Polis says however the $26,000 fine for improper drilling near his northern Colorado land wasn't steep enough.