What’s Up With Oil Shale?

I’m sure I don’t need to convince most readers of this blog about the perils and pitfalls of oil shale development. I do have to convince you to care enough to make a comment. The deadline is May 16, 2011.

How to Make your Comments Count for the OSTS PEIS

Click here to make your comment now.

I assure you that the proponents of OSTS are most definitely commenting en masse. We ought not let their voices drown out ours.

I kept thinking about this part of the article in The Paper this week:

Tom Alvarez, public affairs specialist for the BLM in Grand Junction, cited the remarks of Garfield County Assessor Jim Yellico as the most memorable of the meeting, explaining, “All he wanted was honest information, the truth.”

“It’d be nice if, with your recommendations, there were some facts, and the truth,” said Yellico, a Glenwood Springs native and a self-proclaimed citizen “concerned about the environment.” He told the BLM team that citizens wanted to hear facts rather than divergent claims and counterclaims made by proponents and opponents of the untried industry.

“I would like to see some sort of document that includes the facts, from a source that doesn’t have an agenda,” Yellico concluded.

Since when is the environment an agenda? I can never figure out how anyone can be against the environment.

I thought Yellico’s comments also implied there are two sets of facts. Certainly from what I witnessed at the May 3 scoping meeting, oil shale gets presented that way because the proponents are selling a product. Just look at the guy in the photo.


Ok, so let me sell you on the environment.

At the May 3 evening session, Mesa County Commissioner Craig Meis said something about how Estonia is kicking our butts in oil shale production. So I looked it up. Estonia mines oil shale to burn in their power plants instead of coal. Know what’s kicking Estonia’s butt? Air pollution. Not to mention stinking piles of semicoke and ash all over the place. Ick …

Air pollution situation in Estonia

State Environment in Estonia: Atmospheric Air

Planning pollution in Estonia

Closing down of industrial waste and semi-coke landfills

Oh, and guess what? In March, an Estonian company bought a bunch of oil shale holdings in Utah. What are they betting on?

Bill Eikenberry is no salesman. He is a third-generation Wyoming rancher and former associate state director of the BLM in Wyoming, where he was responsible for 1,000 employees and managed 18 million acres of public land. He had something to say this week about the dirty history of oil shale:  Oil Shale’s Legacy of Failure Haunts the West

From the boom & bust in 82, to the Bush administration’s re-ignition, this dirty fuel means dirty politics:  The dirtiest fuel in the world

For those who still crave more facts, there’s Oil Shale Facts. I looked up and down and all over the website and couldn’t find any hidden agenda – though they are a little slanted toward the environment.

Have I convinced you to comment yet?

Remember the deadline is May 16, 2011.

Click here to make your comment now.

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