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Interior Proposal Would Block Oil Shale Development On Federal Lands In West
The Hill ^ | 11/09/12 02:07 PM ET | By Zack Colman

Posted on 11/09/2012 3:00:14 PM PST by drewh

The Interior Department on Friday issued a final plan to close 1.6 million acres of federal land in the West originally slated for oil shale development.

The proposed plan would fence off a majority of the initial blueprint laid out in the final days of the George W. Bush administration. It faces a 30-day protest period and a 60-day process to ensure it is consistent with local and state policies. After that, the department would render a decision for implementation.

The move is sure to rankle Republicans, who say President Obama’s grip on fossil fuel drilling in federal lands is too tight.

Interior’s Bureau of Land Management cited environmental concerns for the proposed changes. Among other things, it excised lands with “wilderness characteristics” and areas that conflicted with sage grouse habitats.

Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) praised the plan, saying the administration exercised the right amount of caution on oil shale development, which has not yet been brought to commercial scale and brings concerns about the amount of water used in the practice.

"I am glad the Interior Department is taking measured steps to encourage research and development of our oil shale resources. With water being one of our most precious commodities in the West, I have concerns about the potential impacts of commercial oil shale development. Nonetheless, I look forward to seeing this technology explored further," Udall said in a Friday statement.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; US: Colorado; US: Utah; US: Wyoming
KEYWORDS: energy; oilshale

1 posted on 11/09/2012 3:00:17 PM PST by drewh
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To: drewh

Now there’s a shock!

2 posted on 11/09/2012 3:11:35 PM PST by Michigander222
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