Stand at the edge of Island in the Sky in Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah, and be prepared to be swept away by a landscape of redrock badlands and canyon country.
This extraordinary national park, with its enormous views and unique geologic features, is largely managed by the Bureau of Land Management – and unfortunately the BLM is making some very disconcerting decisions about this precious part of south-eastern Utah.
It’s been called fool’s gold for a reason. For decades, energy companies have tried to extract oil from rock, but oil shale technology has never been developed to make large-scale production economically viable or environmentally sound.
Even the oil and gas industry admits that a viable oil shale technology is years, if not decades, away.
Yet, despite large public concern, Congress has given the go-ahead for oil shale development on public lands in Utah, Colorado and Wyoming, three states that are home to major oil shale deposits.
Spend any time in Colorado this election season and you’re sure to see at least one erroneous advertisement warning consumers about the “$321 million tax hike,” should they vote for Amendment 58, which would end state tax credits to a wealthy oil and natural gas industry and invest the money in education and renewable energy.