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Jared Polis

Democratic Rep. Jared Polis

Ugh. After spearheading an effort to put two measures on the ballot to curtail fracking in Colorado, wealthy Democratic Rep. Jared Polis has pulled the plug at the last second. Local organizers had gathered more than 200,000 signatures and were set to submit them on Monday, but Polis negotiated some weaksauce arrangement with Gov. John Hickenlooper, a fellow Democrat who had opposed the measures.

Polis, the movement's chief financial backer, earned a few sops in exchange for declining to file his petitions, but this lame deal doesn't even include an agreement by the energy industry to drop two pro-fracking measures that were already on the ballot. It's some very thin gruel indeed.

So what gives? Well, it's easy to say that Hickenlooper and Sen. Mark Udall, another Democrat, were unhappy with Polis's anti-fracking activism—both had already come out against the measures—so if you want to be charitable, you could call Polis some kind of team player (albeit on the industry-friendly side).

But FOX31, citing unnamed sources, reports that the League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club also wanted Polis to back down. Perhaps they feared a loss, but some internal polling from May indicated that both measures would pass by wide margins, so if this claim is true, there are likely other factors at play.

And there's another angle here, one that The Hill explores: Polis, thanks to his wealth and connections, has long been interested in serving as the next chair of the DCCC, something he's acknowledged openly. Nameless insiders had recently savaged Polis for his excessive ambition in the pages of Politico, so standing down now allows him to demonstrate he's a go-along, get-along kind of guy who won't be too hostile to big business. This is all very sad and pathetic, but this kind of behavior is all too typical in Washington, DC.

11:53 AM PT: Subsquent news reports indicate that all four ballot measures—two pro-fracking and two anti-fracking—will indeed be dropped as part of this deal.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Cannot trust the rich (10+ / 0-)

    and they'll STILL be wanting donations of money and time.

    I am not remotely shameless enough to be a politician.

    •  Which rich person are we talking about now? (0+ / 0-)

      The rich anti-fracking guy or the rich pro-fracking guy?

      Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

      by Anne Elk on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:21:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Seems mr anti-fracker got it all (0+ / 0-)

        back in his pants awfully quick.

        makes me think his heart wasn't in it.

        And I want to like this guy.

        Sadly, its not going to happen.

        •  Jared Polis' BREATHE Act, co-sponsored by (0+ / 0-)

          60 progressive Democrats, causes a nationwide deregulation of hydrogen sulfide emission limitations....some of which have been in effect for the last 40 years...across all industry sectors.

          HR 1154 is the worst idea ever proposed by national environmental groups to amend the Clean Air Act in the 44 years since the first 1970 enactment of the Act by Senator Edmund Muskie.

          The promotion of the BREATHE Act is part of the Gasland conflation/fabrication bubble.   The BREATHE Act is part of a marketing campaign by environmental organizations started years ago to manufacture a meme claiming that the oil and gas industry (and hydraulic fracturing) are exempt from the Clean Air Act -- a direct claim of the movie Gasland.

          In pursuing this organized lying campaign, groups like the Sierra Club under Michael Brune and Earthworks have actually manufactured a marketing campaign whose objective damages air pollution control for hydrogen sulfide, damages public health, trashes the public trust in the Clean Air Act and the atmosphere and deliberately lies to the public about the entire matter.

  •  Huh? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock, wdrath, LakeSuperior
    This is all very sad and pathetic, but this kind of behavior is all too typical in Washington, DC.
    Weren't these initiatives in Colorado, not Wash. DC?

    “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    by 6412093 on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:02:27 AM PDT

  •  The (D) Governor is unapologetilly FOR Fracking (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glenn45, Losty, ozsea1, CadOps

    which is surely a major part of this problem:

    “Like any industrial process, fracking has some risks but, really, if done properly, certainly out in the West, there is literally no risk – certainly much less than many industrial processes,” he said in a public interview with Fortune magazine’s Andy Serwer.
    Yeah, literally no risk, said our Governor. OH, and he's a trained geologist. But he doesn't know that "some" and "literally no" don't quite comport.....
  •  So Colorado, which has the strongest fracking laws (5+ / 0-)

    in the country had a couple measures on the ballot by Pollis whose mega mansion was about to have a drill rig within sight. And he gathered signatures the way everyone does, by paid signature gatherers.

    Then the League of Conservation Voters, The Sierra Club, Senator Udall, Governor Hickenlooper and the Democratic Party were all for dropping the effort.

    But a front pager at the Daily Kos figures they have it all wrong and they are caving to big business.

    Do I have it about right?

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:14:27 AM PDT

    •  I'm so confused (0+ / 0-)

      But I definitely want to know more, particularly about the League of Conservation Voters.  At this point, they are the only group that gets my donation dollars.

      •  Not surprising (5+ / 0-)

        Ban nock is vehemently anti-environmentalist so you'll always get a pretty distorted view there.  The Colorado LCV is supporting the compromise on a theory that the two anti-environment initiatives were worse that the two pro environment ones were bad, it appears.  see the press release

        Sierra Club in fact hasn't taken a position on the deal and says it wasn't at the table. (See my comment below)

        Also Sen Udall has been taking heat in the election for being anti-fracking so he may have asked that it be pulled to prevent his election from being a referendum on fracking.  That's harder to read

        •  pro environment, pro science based (0+ / 0-)

          it's the second part of the equation that drives you around the bend.

          “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

          by ban nock on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 07:16:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  More or less, correct (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bufffan20, ozsea1

      Other than Colorado having the "strongest fracking laws." That's a canard repeated endlessly by the Governor and the industry, but is completely academic (they may be the "strongest," but that's saying approximately nothing.)

      There was a significant chance -- a real, approaching or even above 50% chance -- that these initiatives would have failed. I'd personally have put chances well higher than 50%. If that had happened, regulating fracking would have been a complete non-starter for years, and possibly not just in Colorado.

      Polis absolutely made the correct choice here.

      •  Ah (0+ / 0-)

        What you are saying is pretty different that what BN said.  This sounds like the deal was a net benefit, especially given the evisceration of local bans that would have been on the table

        •  The deal is a net benefit, without question. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mindful Nature, AlexDrew, ban nock

          The deal means that Colorado Dems will not eat their own and be swept out of office, losing the Dem Senate, because of the inevitable wall of money that would opposed the measures.

          Polis' environmental rights measure is poorly written and does not recognize prior and historical legislating in this subject matter of public trust protection by the late Professor Joseph Sax...the godfather of public trust environmental law.

          Because it was poorly written, not enacting Polis' environmental rights measure isn't loosing much at all.  Everyone should understand here that Polis is an amateur when it comes to federal environmental law.....Polis is no Henry Waxman.

          Polis' other measure for a 2000 foot setback was going to get hammered by industry because it would foreclose substantial portions of the state from drilling operations.  I'm unaware of any other state in the country that has a setback requirement of 2000 ft or more, so this was expected to be a big target that the industry would fight hammer and tong on.

          With the deal Polis gets to keep the setback issue alive and to potentially get something greater than what presently exists but not the 2000 ft he sought.

      •  The poll I linked to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Glenn45

        Had both up by huge margins. Sure that would have changed when advertising started, but to say that measures that were polling at +40 were more likely than not to fail seems like a statement that needs some evidence behind it. Even after negative messaging, both were still +20.

        Get the Daily Kos Elections Digest in your inbox every weekday. Sign up here.

        by David Nir on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 11:41:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  nope, wrong (0+ / 0-)

      4 cities in his district had voted to ban fracking, and my guess that they weren't too concerned with Polis' view from his house is at least as valid as your spin.
      Try again.  I'll even give you some help--maybe the governor and senator and others don't want to risk granting more local control, which is what the Polis initiative was for, because maybe local control would result in more fracking in some areas as opposed to less.  
      If that's the issue then maybe my concerns are unfounded.

      you can shit on my face but that doesn't mean I have to lick my lips

      by red rabbit on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:30:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Colorado has the strongest fracking laws? (0+ / 0-)

      That's the first I've heard of that one.

      Got anything to back that up or does it just feel good to say?

      •  the fracking laws were written by the oil and gas (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Glenn45, Garthhh

        commission without input from those of us who are at risk from drilling and fracking...big oil and gas and coal have had their way in Colorado, without much push back...we have been bombarded by pro-fracking lies on the teevee, and when combined with the Dem fuck wads in Denver sucking big oily's drill rig, well, we are the losers...The Energy Companies own Denver...lock stock and barrel of fracking fluid...I will not forget, nor will I go quietly into the night...

      •  Gov John Hickenlooper advocated and achieved the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ban nock

        first state methane air pollution control requirements in the United States.   They are exemplary and a model for other states.

        In doing so, Gov John Hickenlooper walks in the shoes of Senator Edmund Muskie.

        Democrats criticizing this environmental leadership by Hickenlooper lack common sense and should stop watching Gasland.

  •  The dark side of money in politics... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glenn45

    ...moves behind the shadows.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action. UID: 9742

    by Shockwave on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:16:30 AM PDT

  •  really sad (0+ / 0-)

    I'd expect this from our frack-happy governor in PA, where we're slowly watching every inch of pristine wilderness and farm land, as well as our water, slowly poisoned and destroyed.  Hickenlooper and Polis sound like DLC types, and Polis maybe just a power and prestige hungry whore who will sell out to anyone for the chance of advancement.

    you can shit on my face but that doesn't mean I have to lick my lips

    by red rabbit on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:16:44 AM PDT

  •  Surprised the HRC wasn't right there with the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SparkyGump

    Sierra Club and LCV.  HRC loves them some of that Beltway Champagne  . . . surprised they missed their chance to roll over and cave.  They're all so very good at it.

    A drowning man can not learn to swim. -- Chris Lonsdale

    by Rikon Snow on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:17:09 AM PDT

  •  Correction: Sierra club says it didn't ask (4+ / 0-)

    The link you posted just says something vague about environmentalists supporting the deal, but the Sierra Clib's own statement says they were party to the deal and didn't ask the initiatives to be pulled

    The Sierra Club issued a statement Monday that reads in part: “The Sierra Club Rocky Mountain Chapter had endorsed Congressman Polis’ initiatives to limit fracking prior to today’s announcement by Governor Hickenlooper and Representative Polis. Many Sierra Club members and supporters were directly collecting signatures for initiatives 88 and 89. The Sierra Club continues to stand behind Colorado communities and their right to regulate, zone, or ban fracking altogether. Public and environmental wellbeing should always come before the interests of the oil and gas industry. The Sierra Club is currently reviewing the proposed “deal,” and was not involved in negotiating it or asking Polis to drop his initiatives.
  •  Th other angle is that Udall is up for election (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozsea1, LakeSuperior

    And doesn't want to have a massive anti-fracking battle to drive GOP turnout

  •  Win for Dems (5+ / 0-)

    This has everything to do with the issue hurting Dems in November. It would have meant more expensive TV (as pro and anti fracking ads started flooding the airwaves), meaning that state leg., statewide and congressional candidates would have a harder time putting out the messages and making use of our fundraising advantages.

    Regardless, Hick showed leadership here in working it out without a measure. This was nothing but a win for our hold on the gubernatorial and senatorial offices. Or would we rather have a Governor Beauprez and Senator Gardner on our hands?...

  •  sigh, so the repubs have lost their minds (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tle, Glenn45

    and the DLC/DCCC has lost its soul.

    "As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce." - Adam Smith: The Wealth of Nations

    by ozsea1 on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:23:04 AM PDT

    •  Fracking has enabled the US to lower CO2... (0+ / 0-)

      ..emissions more than any other major country since 2007.

      Lost its soul?

      I would argue that any Dem who wants the working poor and the middle-class to pay more for energy has lost his/her soul.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

      by PatriciaVa on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:28:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  incorrect (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Glenn45, Capt Crunch

        fracking increasing methane emissions.

        In case you wanna nitpick the sourcing, there are plenty of others.

        oh and btw, burning natgas releases CO2. That it releases less than coal doesn't take away from that basic fact.

        "As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce." - Adam Smith: The Wealth of Nations

        by ozsea1 on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:36:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is physically impossible for methane emissions (0+ / 0-)

          to occur while hydraulic fracturing takes place because of the high pressure liquid injection that occurs during the process.

          After well completion activities are concluded, methane can be released from produced water tanks, but it does not cause methane emissions if the gas is collected for marketing or flared.

          Your link returns DK error message.

      •  thanks for the pro-fracking perspective (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Glenn45, Capt Crunch

        unfortunately you fail to mention that natural gas produces more methane, which is a more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2.
        I'd say that someone who dishonestly tries to portray fracking as the salvation of the poor and middle class is a giant lying whore of the natural gas industry.  
        Oh, and promoting "centrist economics" and Rubin, next you'll be telling us all how you're going to save the middle class by "reforming" social security and medicare.  

        you can shit on my face but that doesn't mean I have to lick my lips

        by red rabbit on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:40:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  easy there... (0+ / 0-)

          while I understand and agree with the basic science of your comment, this:

          I'd say that someone who dishonestly tries to portray fracking as the salvation of the poor and middle class is a giant lying whore of the natural gas industry.
          pushes the emotion close to donut territory.

          "As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce." - Adam Smith: The Wealth of Nations

          by ozsea1 on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 11:48:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  you said: (0+ / 0-)
          you fail to mention that natural gas produces more methane
          More what?  emissions?  Process gas?

          More methane than what?

          Please be specific.

          •  additional info (0+ / 0-)

            http://www.commondreams.org/...

            there are plenty of other links available.

            IMO, it's not anywhere near as important as to what step of the fracking process produces the resulting methane; there should be none.

            "As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce." - Adam Smith: The Wealth of Nations

            by ozsea1 on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 06:10:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  So, what happens to all those signed petitions? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glenn45

    Is it even legal to refuse to submit them?  Or was the current total insufficient to get them on the ballot?

    If I had signed those petitions, I'd be pretty pissed.

    I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

    by tle on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:27:49 AM PDT

  •  Qualified and Filed. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LakeSuperior

    The Initiative will be withdrawn by the proponents/organizers/committee.

    Hopefully the Oil and Gad Industry can be trusted.

    Hey Lucy, Here I come!

  •  seems pretty unfair to all those who were (0+ / 0-)
    Local organizers (that) had gathered more than 200,000 signatures and were set to submit them on Monday
    unless the "local organizers" were paid canvassers who of course are really motivated fundraisers............

    Are there any honest people left? (Left meaning "remaining" and not meaning the opposite of right.)

  •  And his lovely wife, Anna. (0+ / 0-)
  •  See "House of Cards" (0+ / 0-)

    for illustration of how pols change positions. Or see "Yes, Prime Minister," for a classic & comic version.

    We produce more renewable energy than any other state - WA Gov. Jay Inslee

    by mrobinson on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 10:45:37 AM PDT

  •  if Republicans sweep (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bufffan20, LakeSuperior

    in Colorado, that would not only benefit hydrofrackers...but it would benefit those who oppose immigration reform, who support an increase in the minimum wage, and a whole host of other right-wing issues.

    There's no problem on my part with Democrats trying to adjust their strategic approach in order to help further long-term progressive goals. If that means a brief retreat on one issue to the greater long-term benefit of progressives on that and so many other issues...so be it.

  •  And that, fellow Kossacks is why I will never, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Capt Crunch, Garthhh

    ever give a dime to the DCCC and the DSCC or click on any of their inane petitions. These are the same people who brought us the Blue Dog corporate conservadems and want a "business friendly" Hillary in the Whitehouse.

  •  I will trade you one Careerist Rich Guy (0+ / 0-)

    for one Anti- Fracking Initiative and another Rich Guy to be Named Later.

    Sounds like third grade. Doesn't sound like Public Policy.

    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

    by OregonOak on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 11:07:26 AM PDT

    •  What happened was political and environmental (0+ / 0-)

      leadership has actually prevailed, making it more likely that Hickenlooper and Udall, as Democrats, will be re-elected.  

      As a Democrat, what is wrong with that result?

      If Hickenlooper's regulatory negotiation panel can arrive at a compromised solution that achieves some consensus, then this will have demonstrated the wisdom of the decision on Hickenlooper's (and Polis') part.

  •  From what I read in the post (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LakeSuperior

    it sounds like the deal actually did include dropping the pro-fracking measures as well.

    Denver Post

  •  Elections People (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LakeSuperior

    There was a very real risk that these measures would rile the base on the right, making re-election of Hick and Udall all the more difficult in an off-year. And, the polling wasn't nearly as good as the advocates for the anti-fracking measures claim. People often forget that outside of a few areas (Denver, Boulder, and Aspen/Vail/Summit County), Colorado is still quite conservative.

  •  ao, electing the better Democrats isn't going (0+ / 0-)

    to work, right? For better or worse, the better today, the worse tomorrow.

    Geez. What the frack.

    We know a hell of a lot, but we understand very little. Manfred Max-Neef

    by mimi on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 11:59:14 AM PDT

    •  Hickenlooper and Udall have good environmental (0+ / 0-)

      records.   What is your problem with the specific elements of what they have achieved and with the specifics of the deal?

      What exactly is the basis for your criticism of these two elected officials and Democrats who both face two re-election campaigns....and with Udall could mean the difference between a Dem Senate majority or not?

      •  Polis used paid canvassers to get the signature (0+ / 0-)

        for a ballot to curtail fracking. I guess the money comes from campaign funds? Or does he use his own money to pay those canvassers?

        Then in the last minute he pulls his own initiative off. He has not only betrayed those who believed he would pull this ballot initiative through, but also wasted a lot of money into paid canvassers. The reasons of why he pulled the plug are clearly explained in the diary. They are not honorable. I am one of those purist folks.

        Why should I not believe he is not trustworthy?

        I am not local, so other than that I can't comment.

        We know a hell of a lot, but we understand very little. Manfred Max-Neef

        by mimi on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 03:30:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  mimi, I'm a critic of Polis and not a defender (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mimi

          because I don't think he understands the subject matter of
          oil and gas regulation and public trust enviornmental law enough to be very effective.....Polis is no Henry Waxman, but he's out there with a bill to corrupt the Federal Clean Air Act, which is why I'm critical of him.  

          If you're a Democrat in Colorado, having Polis relent on his ballot propositions is still good news because it means it is less likely that Hickenlooper and Udall are rolled out of office by republican/rightwing/oi/gas -driven turnout.

          •  ok, I understand now. I certainly don't want (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LakeSuperior

            them driven out. As you can see I am not very savvy with your electoral tools and my comment just reflects my frustrations, not my understanding of the matter. Sorry for that.

            We know a hell of a lot, but we understand very little. Manfred Max-Neef

            by mimi on Tue Aug 05, 2014 at 06:03:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  All fracking (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Garthhh

    should be outlawed and the minimum fine should be 1 trillion dollars per action, payable within one week.

  •  The diary states: (0+ / 0-)
    Local organizers had gathered more than 200,000 signatures and were set to submit them on Monday, but Polis negotiated some weaksauce arrangement with Gov. John Hickenlooper, a fellow Democrat who had opposed the measures.
    Local organizers?   Polis used paid petition gatherers.

    The real question here is why the diarist wants to bash a sitting Democrat governor who has enacted the first in the nation state air pollution control rules for the oil and gas industry featuring methane emission control requirements.  

    These methane control rules are a national model for adoption by other states and Gov. John Hickenlooper, in adopting them, walks in the shoes of Senator Muskie and John Muir.   Why the diarist as a Democrat feels compelled to bash Hickenlooper whose deal is real leadership and not "weaksauce" is beyond me.

    but this lame deal doesn't even include an agreement by the energy industry to drop two pro-fracking measures that were already on the ballot. It's some very thin gruel indeed.
    The diarist is misrepresenting what happened as the deal contemplating the yanking of all 4 ballot measures addressing the oil and gas industry (they not not "fracking" measures).   Press reports from the Denver Post indicate that the oil and gas industry will likely follow through and yank the two although that has apparently not yet been confirmed.  

    If Hickenlooper achieves this solution, he deserves praise, not scorn, from both Democrats and environmentalists, staring with Daily Kos Front Page diarists.

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