Polis, a Boulder Democrat who represents Colorado's 2nd Congressional District, was shocked to see a fracking operation start up last week on land just across the street from a rural getaway he owns in Weld County near Berthoud.
Through the holding company that has title to the congressman's 50-acre property, Polis this week filed a complaint in Denver District Court seeking a temporary restraining order. His goal is to shut the drilling down.
"I'm going public and talking about it because it's happening to a lot of other people in Colorado," Polis told the Daily Camera. "This can happen to anybody. It can happen to you. It can happen to your neighbor. It can happen to your congressman.
So what's the right thing here? The question I have is "who owns the property"? When you ask that question, its pretty easy. Why should the person who owns the property across from Polis be restricted from using the property in a way that he or she sees fit? The only reason would be if they're damaging Polis' property, which there is no evidence they're doing.
That being said, some preliminary research at the AAEA annual conference last year did show that when wells were up for fracking (which is in the beginning), immediate property areas do have a slightly lower value. That researcher also discussed that the negative impact is short-lived. Could that be the case for a lawsuit? If so, I think that's a pretty lousy case. If Polis didn't want to have people drilling on that land, he should have purchased that land himself.
Polis said: "but now its personal". That could be why he's suing. Or he could simply be exploiting this opportunity for political gain, as he has been anti-fracking prior to this.