In the West it’s Cookin and It Ain’t Good Lookin

In Western states, land is literally being cooked to extract oil. Long avoided due to its intense water and energy demands, industries are starting to look at oil shale development to meet America’s domestic energy needs. Oil Shale Development in Australia

However, this growing interest in oil shale development is two steps back in the wrong direction.

The process of extracting, heating and processing the shale rock that produces oil intensifies the burden on the West’s already strained water resources, places well over 2 million acres of our wildlands at stake, and threatens vital habitat for wildlife such as mule deer, black bears and the bald eagle.

Although America’s need for energy is undeniable, we need to decide if our western lands should continue to serve a tired, old, dirty energy industry.

That’s why earlier this year, the U.S. Interior Secretary imposed a temporary halt on further leasing of public lands to companies looking to extract oil shale and he’s now asking for public input on whether the federal oil shale program should proceed.

The current regulations for oil shale development do not have anywhere near the appropriate environmental or financial standards needed to protect U.S. taxpayers, our climate, the precious water in the Rockies or the millions of acres of wildlife habitat that provide some of the best opportunities for outdoor recreation out west.

So, please join me today in urging the U.S. Interior Secretary to focus on promoting cleaner sources of domestic energy that will help to protect wildlife and our communities.