BLM told by public not to develop western oil shale

It’s a dirty and marginal source of fossil fuel energy-

Oil sands of Alberta are bad enough, but they look good compared to Western oil shale. Its development will produce little, if any, net energy,  while leaving much waste and giant pits. It takes a lot of water too, and the deposits are in the driest part of the United States.

BLM hearing in Salt Lake City sees much opposition to oil shale. Salt Lake Tribune. By Brandon Loomis.

Interior puts brakes on oil-shale leases — for now

This is a review of a Bush hurry up decision, not a decision to refrain permanently from leasing-

Story in the Salt Lake Tribune. By Patty Henetz.

Although Obama says oil shale is still being considered, I think they will conclude as others have in the past, that getting oil from oil shale is an energy loss, not an energy production program, and one with huge negative side-effects. Of course, by saying it it still being considered you can say maybe some radical new technology will come along.

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Secretary Salazar will review numerous Kempthorne decisions at Interior

He can undo some with a stroke of a pen. Others could stand or be modified. Some will take years of rule-making-

“Salazar to revisit recent Interior Department actions. The department’s new chief will review many of the energy and environmental decisions made in the waning days of the Bush administration.”  By Jim Tankersley. LA Times.

Bush oil-shale rules to get review. By Mark Jaffe. The Denver Post

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Utah downgrades its oil-shale estimates

There’s less oil-shale in Utah than they thought – still a lot, but that doesn’t mean much, it’s not a viable energy option taking more energy to bring to market than it contributes to the market.

Utah downgrades its oil-shale estimatesSalt Lake Tribute

Although oil shale method discredited, Bush pushes rules to develop

Bush proposes rules on oil shale development. Though energy retrieval through the process has been largely discredited, optimists remain. By Patty Henetz. The Salt Lake Tribune.

Folks might recall that Bush’s former Secretary of Interior, Gale Norton, the scourge of our public lands, is now a lobbyists for oil shale.

. . . . more . . . . Statement of the Center for Biological Diversity. On the Bureau of Land Management’s Draft Oil Shale Leasing Regulations. BLM Moves Ahead With Efforts to Squeeze Oil From Rock; Will Do Nothing to Lower Gas Prices.

Hmmm, guess I’m not very positive on oil shale. RM

Heedless rush by Bush on oil shale (opinion by Senator Ken Salazar)

We’ve seen this heedless rush to oil shale before, just ahead of the inevitable bust. By Senator Ken Salazar. Salt Lake Tribune (reprinted from the Washington Post).

Salazar is a U.S. Senator from Colorado, the state where much of the oil shale lies.

Bush returns to orginal premise of his presidency — help oil companies

Brian Ertz posted a story several days ago about this topic. This is my take.

In the last week we have had the President’s answer to high energy prices, drill for domestic oil, and develop oil shale deposits.

The primary economic result of this will be to enrich the oil companies even more. They don’t know how to extract oil from shale and produce net energy. It’s like corn ethanol, only worse. It is not a matter of the price of a barrel of oil getting high enough to make oil from this rock containing a petroleum related substance a source of energy.

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Happy Earth Day, How About An Oil Lease?

Diary of a Mad Voter. Happy Earth Day, How About An Oil Lease? By Joan McCarter. New West.

The vast “resources” of oil shale in Utah and Colorado have been hyped for perhaps a hundred years, but no one has figured out how to get this “oil*”  our of the rocks in an economic manner or how to deal with the environmental impacts that will probably dwarf the impacts of oil sands mining in Alberta.

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* Note: the oil in oil shale is actually kerogen, which consists of a changing variety of various organic chemicals.

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