If your vacation home happens to be next to a drilling rig, you’re probably just going to have to deal with it. Unless of course, you’re a member of Congress.
After a Colorado congressman complained to state regulators about a hydraulic fracturing rig next to his vacation property, the company doing the fracking was fined $26,000.
Democratic Rep. Jared Polis insisted that he received no special treatment from state regulators who fined the company.
In fact, Polis argues that the $26,000 fee is not steep enough, reports the Associated Press.
“What’s to stop them from drilling anywhere if all they face is a $26,000 fine?” Polis said. “You’re up against a Goliath, and as a homeowner you don’t have a lot of options.”
Polis, who is an outspoken critic of hydraulic fracturing, discovered a drilling operation on property next to his vacation home last month and filed a lawsuit against Sundance Energy, the company fracking the land.
Polis complained that the drilling rig was too tall and too close to his land, but he withdrew the suit because the “the rules are biased toward the oil and gas industry,” according to an email to his supporters.
Polis then filed a complaint with the state Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, and merely two weeks later the commission fined Sundance Energy $26,000 and ordered the company to meet with Polis to discuss reducing noise and dust.
The quick response time by state officials was downplayed by Todd Hartman, a spokesman for the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, who said that complaints are investigated within 24 to 48 hours and that caution should be used when comparing response times to unrelated complaints.
In a July op-ed, Polis attacked the OGCC for having a “majority of representatives from the oil and gas industry” — which is incorrect, as only three of the nine OGCC members have backgrounds in oil and gas.