Polis Declares Neutrality on Loveland Anti-Fracking Initiative

May 30, 2014

Rep. Jared Polis

Rep. Jared Polis

WASHINGTON — Despite being a major financial contributor to efforts that would restrict hydraulic fracturing in Colorado, Rep. Jared Polis insisted he is neutral on a closely watched initiative in the 2nd Congressional District he represents.

“I would support Loveland whatever its citizens choose,” said Polis, referring to the city of 70,000 where voters will decide June 24 on a two-year fracking ban.

“I have never taken a position for or against on any of these initiatives. I fully respect the decisions that voters will make,” Polis said.

However, the Colorado Democrat said that pro-fracking forces need to make their case to voters.

“I think most Coloradoans recognize that energy is an important part of our state economy. If those who support fracking don’t take local interests into consideration, they risk,” Polis said, pausing for half a minute to come up with the correct word, “a backlash.”

Polis added that whichever side prevails, he will work with them in the future.

“If it were the oil and gas industry, I would help them; if it were homeowners, I would help them,” Polis said during an interview Thursday, as he walked from the Capitol to his fourth-floor office in the Longworth building.

Polls show wide support for fracking in Colorado. Last November, a Quinnipiac University survey found that 51 percent supported “the use of fracking,” 34 percent opposed it, and 16 percent were undecided.

However, four cities passed anti-fracking initiatives during the November election including Boulder, Broomfield, Fort Collins and Lafayette.

Although Polis would not take a stance on Question 1, he has been the chief financial backer of anti-fracking forces and the most visible among state Democrats.

Coloradans for Local Control has proposed more than a dozen initiative to appear on the statewide ballot Nov. 4 to increase setbacks, allow localities to supersede state regulation and add an environmental bill of rights to the state constitution.

However, Loveland is set to become the next battleground over the future of fracking. Question 1 asks citizens if they wish to impose a two-year moratorium on fracking in order to “fully study the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on property values and human health.”

B.J. Nikkel, a former state representative who represents Loveland Energy Action Project, a pro-energy group, said Polis’ stated neutrality about the outcome of the Loveland initiative was misleading.

“As a lawmaker, Rep. Polis ought to know that local bans not only violate state law, but private property rights established in our state constitution as well,” Nikkel said.

“I find it rather disingenuous that he supposedly takes no position, because it’s more than obvious to everyone in Colorado that he has been spending his fortune encouraging other communities to enact precisely the same ban that Loveland now faces,” Nikkel said.

Rep. Raul Grijalva, Arizona Democrat, also noted the importance of the Colorado ballot initiatives.

“A lot of people are watching this very closely. It’s a barometer, really, about fracking and how it’s being regulated what the regulations should be,” Grijalva said.

Comments made by visitors are not representative of The Colorado Observer staff.

8 Responses to Polis Declares Neutrality on Loveland Anti-Fracking Initiative

  1. Jackson
    May 30, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    When a Democrat moves away from Democrat positions, it is an election year. Polis will be judged on his actions, and not just by God.

  2. Duck
    May 30, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    What a cowardly weasel.

  3. 4ever49
    May 30, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    He must have received his first royalty check.

  4. Nope
    May 30, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Polis is a self-serving liberal parasite. His so-called dot.com was a scam that went broke right after he sold it because he cooked the books.

  5. Jackson
    May 30, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    Polis must have read the handwriting on the wall about his ‘retreat’ not having permits to build any residential buildings on the property. He has been taxed only for sheds on agricultural property, not residential property.

    Don’t believe a word he has said, he is all-in on this. He is the one who threatened Hick if Hick didn’t call a special session of the legislature. Just goes to show, if you have enough money, you can push even the governor to do your bidding in an election year.

  6. par dhog
    May 31, 2014 at 7:09 am

    I can still imagine him “exploring” those old buried cars on his Weld county property and can picture his tearful face as he thinks about the crane that doesn’t come back to his “lake” because of fracking…..
    Oh lordie.

  7. VanitySmear
    May 31, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Neutrality is a weasel word. The fact is that none of Polis’ legislative efforts provide any new legal support for a community to ban fracking. He’s merely talking about finer points of zoning and whatnot to make it appear that communities have a say and are actually being protected. It’s really nothing but rearranging the fracking furniture that still results in a community getting fracked.

  8. Bob Simons
    June 2, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Fire the bum!

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