Thursday, May 21, 2009

Stop Oil Shale Before They Ruin the West

Oil shale in Australia

America has oil shale, Canada has oil sands, which I've written about a lot. There are those who would love to destroy America's oil shale areas as much as Alberta, Canada, is destroying its tourist areas and native lands, and American coal companies destroying Appalachian and native American home lands.

I received this email today from The Wilderness Society.
Did you know that Bush-era environmental policies are still on the books, jeopardizing our natural places?
Because of a rule issued by the Bush Administration, the Bureau of Land Management is poised to lease millions of acres of public land in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming to develop oil shale – the dirtiest fossil fuel in the world.
Please let the Bureau of Land Management know that you want public lands protected from oil shale development.
Oil shale development is not environmentally sound, nor is it economically viable. If it moves forward now, we don't know if we'll get usable energy sources – but we do know that we'll end up with polluted air, wild lands that are carved up by roads and transmission lines, and depleted water resources in these already arid Western States.
Write the Bureau of Land Management today and urge them to protect our public lands from oil shale development.
In case you were wondering what oil shale is (I was!) I checked out some other sources as well. Wikipedia writes about Oil Shale:
Oil shale is an organic-rich fine-grained sedimentary rock. It contains significant amounts of kerogen, a solid mixture of organic chemical compounds from which liquid hydrocarbons can be extracted. The name oil shale represents a double misnomer, as geologists would not necessarily classify the rock as a shale, and its kerogen differs from crude oil. Kerogen requires more processing to use than crude oil, which increases its cost as a crude-oil substitute both financially and in terms of its environmental impact. Deposits of oil shale occur around the world, including major deposits in the United States of America. Estimates of global deposits range from 2.8 trillion to 3.3 trillion barrels (450 × 109 to 520 × 109 m3) of recoverable oil.
And if you really want to know a lot about oil shale and its impact, you can read the government required Oil Shale and Tar Sands Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (Oil Shale and Tar Sands PEIS).

It is only now that oil prices have been high, and are expected to go up again that extracting and processing oil shale can be profitable. With Obama's new rules on truck and car efficiencies, and the development of more environmentally benign fuels, we can cut our need for oil drastically. No sense even getting started ruining the environment in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, when we won't need it!

So please follow the link to write the Bureau of Land Management today and urge them to protect our public lands from oil shale development.

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