administration is preparing to open up millions of acres of
public land in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming for extraction and
development of oil shale and tar sands. The production of
these fossil fuels would ravage the landscape and produce
unacceptable quantities of greenhouse gases and other
pollutants at a time when we desperately need to transition to
non-polluting, renewable energy sources.
copyright 2005, David Dodge, The Pembina Institute
copyright 2005, Chris Evans, The Pembina Institute
These pictures were
taken in a region of Alberta, Canada that has been
devastated by oil sands development. The first picture
represents an area untouched by development. The second
picture shows a ravaged landscape -- the effects of oil
Please let the
Bureau of Land Management know that you oppose all development
of oil shale and tar sands on public lands.
To submit comments,
We've provided a sample comment letter below if you'd like to
cut and paste.
You can also mail your
Sherry Thompson, BLM Project Manager
Oil Shale and Tar Sands Draft Programmatic EIS
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne IL 60439
Please submit your comments
by March 20, 2008
Dear Sherry Thompson, BLM
I am writing to support the
"No Action" alternative in the Draft Programmatic
Environmental Impact Statement for Oil Shale and Tar Sands.
The proposed development comes at a time when our public lands
are already bearing the brunt of the current energy boom and
significant population growth across the West and when we
desperately need to be transitioning away from fossil fuels
and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. This proposal is
not feasible environmentally or economically, and would result
in unacceptable quantities of greenhouse gas and other
pollutants. The Bureau of Land Management should scrap
the proposed development completely, choose the No Action
alternative, or, at the very least, develop and evaluate a
full range of reasonable alternatives, including alternatives
based on energy conservation and efficiency.
The Bureau of Land
Management must also adequately consider the cumulative
impacts of the proposed development to all of the plants and
animals that will be affected.
I urge the Bureau of Land
Management to choose the No Action alternative and abandon
plans to develop oil shale and tar sands on public lands in
What's at stake:
On December 21, 2007, the
Bureau of Land Management released a draft programmatic
environmental impact statement proposing to open up almost 2
million acres of public lands in Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah
to commercial leasing of oil shale and tar sands -- a
nonconventional type of fossil-fuel energy production that
requires an incredible amount of energy and emits tremendous
amounts of greenhouse gases.
Oil shale rock must be
heated up to about 900 degrees F to release the oil, and at
least 40 percent of the energy value of the shale is consumed
in production. Producing 1 million barrels of shale oil a day,
as some have proposed, would require 10 new (and likely
coal-fired) power plants and five new coal mines just to serve
them, costing taxpayers billions, consuming millions of tons
of coal and acre-feet of water each year, and producing an
astronomical amount of greenhouse pollution. Development of
oil shale and tar sands in the Rocky Mountains would also hurt
species that depend on our public lands and waters for
survival, including migratory birds, endangered plants, and
federally protected fish species like the humpback chub,
Colorado pikeminnow, razorback sucker, and others.
The Bureau of Land
Management's controversial proposal would fuel an outdated,
fossil-fuel-intensive energy infrastructure and comes at a
time when we need to be rapidly transitioning away from fossil
fuels-based energy production. If "business as usual"
greenhouse gas emissions continue, over one third of the
world's plants and animals will be committed to extinction by
the middle of this century or before.
It is time to tell the
Bureau of Land Management that the environmental catastrophe
known as oil shale and tar sands development will never be
viable. Please write
today to voice your opposition to this ill-conceived
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