COMMENTS ARE DUE MAY 16, 2011
CLICK HERE to submit comments
Click here to read comment letter of Living Rivers
TALKING POINTS ARE LISTED BELOW
Visit Far Country for documents about tar sands and oil shale in the Uinta Basin
Click here to read the press release by Bureau of Land Management. This press release includes the schedule for public scoping meetings in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado.
Click here for the Federal Register Notice of April 14, 2011
Click here to visit the BLM web site for this Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
Click here to review the water energy nexus problems of the Colorado River basin.
Click here to review US Geological Survey documents on oil shale.
Click here to read the story by David Williams in the Colorado Independent
Click here to read the story by Dennis Web in the Grand Junction Sentinel.
Click here to read this Associated Press article by Chi-Chi Zhang.
SUGGESTED TALKING POINTS FOR COMMENTS:
See also the report called Fossil Foolishness
BLM needs reliable information on how much oil shale development would change the landscape, and it must understand the potential effects on water supplies, air quality, public health and wildlife before it considers commercial leasing. The BLM does not have enough information to consider dedicating public lands to commercial leasing at this point.
A watershed of two million acres will be destroyed
The BLM plan released in 2008 for oil shale allocated 2 million acres in UT, WY and CO for commercial leasing. This is a massive amount of public, taxpayer land that would be sacrificed for a singular use of the landscape; the BLM should reconsider this decision, and consider alternatives that protect the wildlife habitat, water, and air in the West.
Oil shale is projected to have huge impacts on water supplies in the West.
We don’t know about the real impacts of commercial oil shale to water supplies in the West, but we know they will be significant. The latest water use estimates range from 3 times the amount consumed annually in Mesa County, Colorado (110,000 acre ft) to 50% more than the Denver Metro area consumes annually (378,000 acre ft). Either scenario would have enormous impacts on the West. We should not consider commercial development of oil shale before we know those impacts.
Oil shale would require a huge amount of electricity.
Oil shale requires a huge amount of electricity to heat it enough to extract a liquid from the rock. The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) initial estimates show that producing 1 million barrels per day would require ten new coal-fired power plants, each with a capacity to power a city of 500,000 people. The BLM should very carefully consider the serious impacts of new energy required for oil shale development.
Oil shale would have significant impacts to wildlife and fish populations.
The land overlying oil shale resources in Utah, Colorado and Wyoming is some of the best wildlife habitat in the West. We don’t know the true impacts that oil shale could have on wildlife populations, but we know that elk, deer, and aquatic species could be seriously impacted by a full-scale oil-shale industry. BLM estimated in its draft EIS that large-scale oil shale development would result in the permanent loss of up to 50 percent of BLM stream fisheries in the area of development, up to 35 percent of Colorado River cutthroat trout fisheries, and up to 11 percent of available nest and brood range for blue and sage grouse.
Research and development leases have shown us nothing so far.
We have had 6 research and development projects in place on federal lands since 2007, with 3 more recently approved by Secretary Salazar, and tens of thousands of acres of oil shale private lands owned by industry. The BLM should not consider allocating millions of acres of western lands for oil shale without any information from oil shale research and development leases on federal lands.
Oil shale is a dirty fuel of the past. We should be focusing on clean fuels of the future.
Simply put, as a nation we should be investing in clean energy sources of the future, not wasting our time promoting dirty energy sources of the past like oil shale and tar sands.