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Jared Polis says constituents opting out of ‘energy economy’

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Greg Campbell Contributor
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Colorado Democratic Rep. Jared Polis said that his constituents “would be happy to not be a hub of the energy economy” in comments to a commerce association in Denver Wednesday.

He was referring to fracking, according to the Denver Business Journal, against which he has waged a high profile and very personal battle lately.

“My folks are opting out,” the newspaper quotes him as saying, referring to bans against the practice that are either in place or being considered for parts of his district. “They don’t want a part of what may well be popular in the 3rd or the 4th [congressional districts].”

Polis recently filed a complaint against an oil and gas company that had begun fracking near his “weekend getaway” in Weld County, claiming that the drilling had caused “mental suffering, annoyance and the loss of use and enjoyment” of his property. He told a Boulder newspaper that he felt like a “refugee” because of it.

The company was hit with a $26,000 fine, but Polis insisted that he didn’t enjoy special treatment from state regulators because he’s a wealthy congressman. In fact, he argued that the fine wasn’t steep enough.

At Wednesday’s Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry luncheon, Polis was the only member of the congressional delegation who voiced his opposition to fracking. Even Democrats Ed Perlmutter and Dianna DeGette said they were O.K. with the practice as long as it’s done in an environmentally sensitive way, the Journal reported.

On Twitter later, Polis said he likes the cash oil and gas operations bring to his district — as long as those operations are “#frackfree.”

“[W]e would love for those making money from oil & gas to live in pristine &#frackfree Boulder County,” he wrote.

Not everyone in Polis’s district is as inflexible. Just Tuesday, Broomfield County approved 21 new wells, angering some citizens who had gathered enough signatures to ask voters to approve a five-year moratorium on the practice.

Polis addressed it on Twitter.

“Broomfield voters have a choice if they want those (temporary) jobs in Nov,” he wrote. “I support their choice either way.”

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