Waste water pond from Canadian tar sands development. Producing oil from tar sands and oil shale ends up creating several orders of magnitude more carbon emissions than conventional oil sources. Not to mention gigantic waste water ponds. Photo: Rodrigo Sala via flickr.
Though Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar seems to generally have his head in the right place when it comes to energy policy, one glaring counter-example is his de facto support of oil shale. While he has ordered a review of Bush administration policies regarding leasing lands for oil shale development, he hasn't come out in opposition to it. Which, considering the gigantic environmental horror show that comes from producing oil from shale, is as good as supporting it. Which is why you should take a moment and help the National Wildlife Federation send Salazar a clear message:
Thank you for suspending any new leasing of public lands for oil shale research, development and demonstration (RD&D;). I support your efforts to take a fresh look at oil shale production on some of the wildest lands in the Rocky Mountain region.
I am opposed to any more leasing for oil shale RD&D; at this time. The current regulations, finalized by the Bush administration, do not have anywhere near the appropriate environmental or financial standards needed to protect U.S. taxpayers, our climate, the precious water in the Rockies, or the two million acres of wildlife habitat that provide some of the best hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation areas in the West.
In addition, industry has not even begun research on the ground where it already has public land under lease. And more than three million acres of lands that are rich in oil shale in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming are already in private hands. Private investment should occur with private resources. Leasing more public land to companies while they are not using the public lands or even the private lands they currently have available would just be a give-away of public resources.
Tar sands production in Canada has destroyed vast expanses of wildlands, displaced wildlife, produced substantially more global warming pollution than conventional fuel and used up enormous amounts of clean water. We don't want this type of energy development on American public lands. Instead, I urge you to protect these sensitive areas for future generations and focus federal resources on promoting cleaner sources of energy.
Tell the Secretary of the Interior how you feel about oil shale development: OurPublicLands.org
Tar Sands, Oil Shale
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