Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) wants to be “the poster boy” for reining in fracking. He has sought to ban it, regulate it, and tax it. But at the same time, Polis has millions of dollars in fracking and resource extraction investments.
Looking at Polis’s past statements, you’d think that he’s vigorously opposed to fracking. He has written letters criticizing oil and gas companies, praised fracking moratoriums in his Boulder district, and argued for stiffer financial penalties for the industry. He has also used alarmist language to stoke fears about the chemicals used in the process and questioned “the impact that fracking has on the health of communities.”
Last year, he even sued his neighbor for fracking on her own land because it caused him “a loss of enjoyment” on his million dollar property in Weld County. He claimed that the “mental suffering” from his neighbor’s drilling was making his family “refugees” and ending their chance at the “Colorado dream.” Such melodrama is just part of what Polis sees as his mission: “I feel like the universe has selected me to be a poster boy for reining in out-of-control fracking,” he said.
But his actions tell quite a different story. At the same time Polis is making it more difficult for individuals in his state to build wealth from fracking, he is quietly investing millions in fracking and resource extraction developments. Based on his 2012 financial disclosures, he has at least $1 million invested in the oil and gas industry. One of his investment vehicles in particular, Bow River Capital Fund, has numerous fracking interests in its portfolio. These investments have helped Polis become the 2nd wealthiest member of Congress. Unfortunately, like so many wealthy environmentalists, he maintains the hypocritical, “I got mine; you can’t get yours” mentality.