Oil shale development in the Western US moves a little closer. The Bureau of Land Management released a draft plan last December to mine the oil locked in rocks on federal land Colorado, Utah and Wyoming and gave the public 90 days to comment.
Although government officials in western Colorado and eight water companies asking for an extension, saying they needed more time to review the 1,400-page document, it is unlikely to be given.
The water managers and elected officials are concerned that the oil shale production facilities would drain up to 15 percent of western Colorado’s water supply. They also said the development would displace wildlife and create new sources of toxic waste.
“Many aspects of our lives would be jeopardized, including clean air and water, and ultimately, the strength of our communities,” wrote Pitkin County Commissioner Jack Hatfield in a letter to the BLM.