Group says oil shale regs will benefit consumers

RANGELY — Environmentally Con-scious Consumers for Oil Shale (ECCOS) Tuesday marked a major milestone in the nation’s effort to become more energy independent–according to a publication by the U.S. Dept. of the Interior of final commercial leasing regulations for oil shale.
“As America struggles to find real solutions to the nation’s growing dependence on foreign energy sources and consumers battle with record fuel costs, laying the groundwork for future oil shale development is a major victory,” said Peggy Rector, chair of Environ-mentally Conscious Consumers for Oil Shale.
“By establishing a regulatory framework for future oil shale development, our nation is taking a bold step toward addressing our current energy and economic crisis,” Rector said. “Oil shale must be part of our energy future. We will never move forward with environmentally responsible and economically viable development without a regulatory framework from the federal government.”
“We need more energy, both traditional and renewable, for our economy and for our nation’s security. The oil shale contained in the Green River Formation of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming holds the key to increased energy security and less reliance on foreign sources of energy,” Rector said.
Regulations to guide commercial oil shale development on federal lands were mandated by the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
“Oil shale may hold great promise in helping to meet the nation’s energy needs, but only after its viability is sufficiently demonstrated,” said Harris Sherman, executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. “Therefore, the state has consistently supported aggressive research and development of oil shale as a first step. This has been Colorado’s policy for the past 30 years, Democrats and Republicans alike.
But the Bush administration’s rush to finalize commercial oil shale regulations at this time is premature and short-sighted. Before that happens, we need answers to some essential questions, such as: which technologies will work, what is the cost of extraction and what is the likely impact to our communities, our water, public lands and air quality?