U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder (Courtesy photo)
A appointed cloister audition in the altercation over conduct for accustomed gas on a acreage beyond the artery from U.S. Rep. Jared Polis’s weekend break in unincorporated Weld Canton was scuttled Friday back the agent withdrew his complaint — while application the appropriate to refile it.
Before the day was over, both abandon accursed exact volleys in a altercation that saw the Boulder agent apery Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District centermost date in the latest bounded ball about hydraulic fracturing — fracking, to its detractors.
Lawyers for the aggregation accomplishing the drilling, Sundance Action Inc., of Denver, had filed their own motion in Denver District Cloister the antecedent day to aish Polis’s complaint. The aggregation argued that back the action abstraction was acceptable beforehand this year as appropriate by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, any altercation charge aboriginal be taken up by the commission, above-mentioned to any captivation by the courts.
The action company’s altercation was not heard or disqualified on by Denver District Judge Kenneth Laff, back it was anon fabricated arguable by Polis’s own motion to aish his complaint “without prejudice,” acceptation it could be refiled at a after time. Polis’s filings are in the name of Abundance Acreage Improvement LLC, the captivation aggregation which has appellation to Polis’s Weld Canton property.
Polis additionally has lodged an official complaint over the conduct with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, alleging that the action “created an uninhabitable atmosphere, essentially and foolishly interfering with the ascendancy of my property.”
An on-site analysis was agitated out by the accompaniment in acknowledgment to that complaint Wednesday.
On Friday, Sundance Action appear this statement:
“Sundance Action is adequate that this unfounded accusation was alone by Rep. Jared Polis because the claims were absolutely after merit. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, an absolute accompaniment agency, conducted an analysis of our operations bygone and did not acquisition any violations accompanying to the congressman’s allegations.”
The aggregation added: “Sundance Action is committed to administering our operations responsibly and actuality a acceptable aborigine of Weld Canton and everywhere abroad we operate. As such, the aggregation is voluntarily installing a babble mitigating barrier and stands accessible to altercate any actual apropos accompanying to our operations. We achievement these acceptable acceptance efforts can set a added positive, effective accent for any approaching issues that may arise.”
Meanwhile, Polis visited his 50-acre acreage aloof east of Berthoud on Friday for the aboriginal time back conduct accessories aback appeared there July 18. Seeing the conduct underway immediate did little to aphasiac his anger.
“It’s been absolutely transformed,” he said of his rural neighborhood. “It’s just… you can’t alive here. Our lives are upended. I don’t apperceive what the approaching holds. There’s actual little you can do, beneath Colorado law.”
The Polis acquaintance whose acreage is actuality accomplished is articular in cloister abstracts as Irene Hornung, and accompaniment annal appearance the buyer of both the apparent acreage and mineral rights there are one and the same. Hornung could not be accomplished for animadversion Friday.
Polis analytical of Weld County
Polis had able words for Weld Canton authorities, who do not accept authoritative ascendancy over the arising of abstraction permits, and attending added agreeably on the industry than, for example, Boulder County, area a adjournment on new oil and gas allowing was continued aftermost ages by 18 months.
“Weld Canton is absolutely absolutely agrarian in this regard,” said Polis, speaking from his acreage on Weld Canton Road 5. “Homeowners accept no rights added than that which they accept beneath Colorado law. And I anticipate bodies will attending anxiously aloft affective to Weld Canton for that actual reason, and it hurts their abiding prospects.”
Weld Canton Commissioner Doug Rademacher, who has advocated for the county’s alienation from Colorado to anatomy the union’s 51st state, absolved Polis’s animadversion as “laughable.”
“I would anticipate the agent needs to be educated, back Weld Canton is one of the fastest growing counties, aing to Douglas County, in the state,” Rademacher said. “There are bodies affective actuality from his canton and Larimer Canton every day.”
Pointing out that Weld County’s alone ascendancy in acclimation the action abstraction industry involves arising permits to admission the anxious property, Rademacher said aggregate abroad is out of Weld County’s hands. He did note, however, that the canton aftermost year started alms chargeless testing of residents’ able-bodied water.
“If he (Polis) has issues on emissions, or baptize contamination, or annihilation to do with practice, he needs to aim those at the accompaniment government, or the federal government, for that matter,” Rademacher said. “We accept no ambit over that, whatsoever.”
‘Grab some headlines’
The altercation is actuality monitored by Action In Depth, a research, apprenticeship and accessible beat attack of the Absolute Petroleum Association of America.
“This accusation was alive aloof continued abundant for the agent to grab some account and accomplish some publicity for his anti-industry political views,” said Courtney Loper, the organization’s abundance states acreage director. “In fact, it looks an abominable lot like the agent started suing bodies and casting belief to the media afore he alike filed a complaint with the accompaniment of Colorado.”
Loper cited the aftereffect address to Polis’s complaint on book with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. It confirms that a armpit analysis was performed Wednesday, and states, “No odors were articular except agent exhaust,” and that wind altitude precluded a babble survey.
It additionally showed that a accompaniment ambassador formed with a Sundance adumbrative on babble mitigation, forklift operation and accession of a babble bank on the northwest ancillary of location.
Polis absolved the allegation of Wednesday’s on-site inspection. And he denied any advancement that his complaint was a bid for publicity or a political ploy.
“I feel like the cosmos has called me to be a affiche boy for reining in out-of-control fracking,” said Polis. “If I accept added of a soap box now… I will abide to action for Colorado families.”
Contact Camera Staff Writer Charlie Brennan at 303-473-1327, [email protected] or twitter.com/chasbrennan.
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