Bush Administration Issues Premature Oil Shale EIS

Sep 5, 2008

WASHINGTON — “The Bush administration has moved forward on its plan for commercial oil shale development without any clear understanding of the impacts on local communities, the environment, or the region’s economy," said Chase Huntley of The Wilderness Society in a statement today. "The administration and their boosters in Congress are pushing the promise of oil shale in the hope of scoring political points by leading Americans to believe it will lower today’s high energy prices. It will not. Putting politics ahead of responsible governance could cause more harm than good. “In fact, this reckless hurtle toward oil shale development puts thousands of residents of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming at risk of an economic catastrophe not seen since the Black Sunday collapse of the Colony Oil Shale project in 1982. This move also promises significant and potentially devastating environmental consequences for nearly two million acres of Western public lands. “Responsible stewardship of these public resources requires the Bureau of Land Management to ensure that industry has viable technology to commercially harvest oil shale before proceeding toward commercial leasing. But technologies to melt oil from rock efficiently, cost-effectively, and safely do not exist anywhere in the world. “Americans want real energy solutions, not an unproven promise. Discussion of oil shale is just a distraction from effective clean energy policies such as increased energy efficiency measures and investment in renewable technologies. We should not sacrifice quality of life of local residents of these states on the alter of eleventh-hour politics.”