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As environmentalists, we are all used to confronting industry propaganda surrounding dirty fossil fuels, but oil shale backers are in a league of their own.
Despite a century of effort, no barrels of oil have ever been produced on a commercial scale from this fuel source in the U.S. Yet the oil industry is singing oil shale’s praises and lobbying the government to hand over pristine public land in the West for private speculation.
Contact the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and stop this oil industry land grab.
Oil shale development—which to date has involved baking rocks at hundreds of degrees for months to produce something only vaguely resembling oil—would likely consume massive quantities of water, cause significant air pollution, destroy thousands of acres of wildlife habitat and promote boom-and-bust cycles for local economies. And they want millions of acres to do it, without any proof that they can commercially produce this fuel.
The oil shale industry’s jobs claims are suspicious at best, but we do know how much Western economies depend on a healthy environment. Oil shale production could deplete:
- Water, an indispensable resource in this arid region. Farming and ranching communities depend on a steady water supply.
- Wildlife, which contribute to vibrant tourism and recreational industries. These generate $3 billion annually in economic activity in Colorado alone.
- Clean air, a fundamental requirement of life that keeps our communities healthy and productive. Additionally, oil shale production will generate greenhouse gases that drive climate change.
The oil shale industry already has access to thousands of acres of public lands, as well as more than 250,000 acres of private land. The only thing holding back the oil shale industry is the rock itself.
Unproven technology should not be used to justify a controversial land grab that pits communities against each other. Tell the BLM not to hand over public land to a dirty industry that cannot promise any job gains.
To sign the petition, click here.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Tara Lohan
A sign at the north end of Kanab, Utah, proclaims the town of 4,300 to be "The Greatest Earth on Show."
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