Oil Shale: What Is It And How Will It Impact The West?

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The expiration of an oil shale development moratorium would
imperil water supplies, wildlife, and global warming efforts in the West.

Congress must take the urgent and necessary steps that will
give consumers better energy choices, cut oil dependency and cut global warming
pollution. Oil shale production requires five gallons of water to produce one
gallon of fuel, and the vast majority of shale is located in Colorado, Utah, and
Wyoming-states with limited water resources. 

According to Bureau of Land Management estimates, an active oil shale industry
would drain 200 million gallons of water a day from already parched Western

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, about 20 percent
of all oil-shale deposits are shallow enough that they may be extracted by
strip-mining, a method which would devastate critical wildlife habitat.

While research and development continues on federal lands,
the rules establishing a commercial oil shale leasing program are currently
blocked by a Congressional funding limitation. Because uninformed
rules could cost taxpayers billions and allow reckless development, the
limitation needs to be extended into 2009.

On Tuesday, September 23rd, NWF had a telephone press
conference on oil shale and how will it impact the West.

Speakers included…

Susan Daggett, Denver Water Board Commissioner

Kathleen Kelly, former Colorado State Rep. and rancher on
the Western slope

Craig Thompson, NWF board member, sportsman from the heart
of oil shale country

Steve Torbit, Executive Director, NWF Rocky Mountain Natural Resource Center


Published: September 24, 2008