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  • Common Sense Approach to Oil Shale Development
    by Holly Armstrong
    Published - 05/09/12 - 07:37 AM | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    (Utah/Colorado/Wyoming) - (UPDATED WITH VIDEO AT END OF ARTICLE) - Elected officials from Utah, Colorado and Wyoming today released a letter that was sent to the Bureau of Land Management in support of an oil shale plan that reflects “a common sense approach that puts the prosperity of our region first.” The letter, from more than 30 Western elected officials, was submitted during the 90-day period that the BLM was accepting comments on its draft plan for oil shale and tar sands leasing. Below is the letter:

    May 4, 2012

    Draft OSTS PEIS

    Argonne National Laboratory

    9700 S. Cass Ave.

    EVS/240

    Argonne, IL 60439

    Re: Oil Shale and Tar Sands Resources Programmatic EIS

    Dear Bureau of Land Management,

    We are writing to express our support for the approach that is being taken in the Bureau of Land Management’s recently released Draft Programmatic EIS (PEIS) for oil shale and tar sands, which defines the terms of potential future leasing of oil shale and tar sands deposits on federal lands in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. As elected officials in these states, we believe it is essential that the final plan ensures that key questions are answered before opening public land to commercial development.

    Given that a commercial industry does not yet exist, it is smart to require that research and development of oil shale and tar sands technologies be completed and the impacts analyzed before moving forward with a commercial leasing program. The final plan should reflect a common sense approach that puts the prosperity of our region first. Our public lands are enormous economic drivers in the Intermountain West. Tourism, recreation, hunting and fishing, ranching, and other industries provide billions of dollars of revenue and hundreds of thousands jobs throughout the three-state region. Our public lands also contain the headwaters to critical western water supplies, the economic backbone of our economies. The BLM has acknowledged in the Draft PEIS that the potential impacts of development on communities, water and air are largely unknown but potentially significant. We do not know, for instance, if either industry would produce significant revenues, but we do know that development would divert critical water resources from existing and future uses and require trade-offs that may be substantial, but which we cannot yet assess. We thus strongly urge the BLM to prioritize research and development in the final PEIS, to ensure that impacts are analyzed and we can make smart decisions about commercial leasing. These lands are our heritage, and for many, our livelihoods. Asrepresentatives of communities across the three-state region, we have a responsibility to work to protect those values.

    It is critical that we know more about the impacts of oil shale and tar sands development before putting communities, water and air at risk.

    Sincerely,



    Ken Esquibel

    Wyoming House of Representatives

    District 41

    Cheyenne, Wyoming

    Representative Stan Blake

    Wyoming House of Representatives

    House District 39

    Green River, WY



    Bernadine Craft

    Wyoming House of Representatives

    District 17

    Rock Springs, Wyoming



    Floyd Esquibel

    Wyoming Senate

    District 8

    Cheyenne, Wyoming



    Joyce Corcoran

    Rock Springs City Council

    Rock Springs, WY



    Erik Molvar

    Laramie City Council

    Laramie, WY



    Dr. Klaus Hanson

    Laramie City Council

    Laramie, WY



    Representative Brian King

    Minority Assistant Whip

    Utah House of Representatives

    District 28

    Salt Lake City, UT



    David Litvack

    Minority Leader

    Utah House of Representatives

    District 26

    Salt Lake City, UT



    Rebecca Chavez-Houck

    Utah House of Representatives

    District 24

    Salt Lake City, UT



    Sally Elliott

    Summit County Council

    Summit County, UT



    Audrey Graham

    Grand County Council

    Moab, UT



    Christopher F. Robinson

    Summit County Council

    Park City, UT



    Dave Sakrison

    Mayor, City of Moab

    Moab, UT



    Jim Bradley

    Salt Lake County Council

    Former Director of Utah Energy Office

    Salt Lake City, UT



    Roger Wilson

    Colorado State Representative

    House District 61



    Millie Hammer

    Colorado State Representative

    House District 56



    Dan Gibbs

    Summit County Commissioner

    Summit County, CO



    Thomas Davidson

    Summit County Commissioner

    Summit County, CO



    Karn Stiegelmeier

    Summit County Commissioner

    Summit County, CO



    Forrest Whitman

    Gilpin County Commissioner

    Gilpin County, CO



    Tim Mauck

    Clear Creek County Commissioner

    Clear Creek County, CO



    Stephen Bersheyni

    Glenwood Springs City Council

    Glenwood Springs, CO



    Rachel E. Richards,

    Pitkin County Commissioner

    Pitkin County, CO



    Lynn Padgett

    Ouray County Commissioner

    Ouray, CO



    Leo McKinney

    Glenwood Springs City Council

    Mayor Pro-Tem

    Glenwood Springs, CO



    Bruce Christensen

    Former Mayor

    Glenwood Springs, CO





    Frosty Merriott

    Carbondale Town Council

    Carbondale, CO



    John Hoffmann

    Carbondale Town Council

    Carbondale, CO



    Allyn Harvey

    Carbondale Town Council

    Carbondale, CO



    Gerry Horak

    Fort Collins City Council

    Fort Collins, CO

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