Westerners Discuss U.S. Oil Shale Development


From The Middle River Group:

This Tuesday the Bureau of Land Management will hold the first of eight hearings in the West to take public comment on the impacts of oil shale development (http://on.doi.gov/fRnwhl).

The hearings are a result of a February decision by Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to take a fresh look at a federal oil shale plan that was released in 2008 by the Bush Administration. That plan opened up two million acres of western public lands to oil shale research and development.

Now that gas prices are hovering around $4 per gallon, unproven resources like oil shale are back in the national debate. Furthermore, oil shale today is being conflated with shale gas and shale oil, giving the false impression that oil shale is ready for prime time. This has led to inaccurate rhetoric, and has the potential to mislead investors, policymakers and other Americans interested in real energy solutions.

On Monday, April 25, in advance of the first BLM hearing, we are hosting a media teleconference specifically for bloggers and other online media featuring Western experts on oil shale and energy issues and the impact of their development. We want to make sure you have an opportunity to hear their perspectives in advance of the BLM hearings and subsequent dialogue. These sources will be able to help you see through misinformation and rhetoric that will arise during the hearings. Conference call information:

Westerners discuss U.S. oil shale

Monday, April 25
10am MT (12n ET)

If you would like to participate, please email me for dial-in number and pass code so that we have plenty of lines, and also contact me if you have additional questions. Additional tele-conference information is below.

Thank you,


Holly Armstrong
Program Director
Resource Media
1900 13th Street, Suite 206
Boulder, CO 80302
T  720.564.0500, x12
M 303.803.6411
[email protected]


Randy Udall
[email protected]; 970.963.0517

One of the nation’s leading experts on energy, Randy served as director of the Community Office for Resource Efficiency (CORE) in Western Colorado. During his 13-year tenure, CORE’s partnered with individuals, governments and utilities on several projects, including Colroado’s first solar energy incentive program. He is also co-founder of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil-USA.

Bill Klyn

C: 307.690.9122; [email protected]

Bill is a Wyoming resident and fisherman who serves on the board of the Wyoming-based Snake River Fund, which works to protect and enhance resources in and around the Snake River area. For the past 21 years, he has managed Patagonia’s fishing division and has been involved in the fishing business since 1976. Bill was also a founder of the American Fly Fishing Trade Association.

***Additional participants will be added when confirmed. An update will be sent Monday, prior to the call.***

Hearing schedule:

April 26, Salt Lake City, Utah
April 27, Price, Utah
April 28, Vernal, Utah
April 29, Rock Springs, Wyoming
May 3, Rifle, Colorado
May 4, Denver, Colorado
May 5, Cheyenne, Wyoming

Additional info about the “triple threat” of oil shale:


BLM predicts that large scale development of oil shale alone could require up to 378,000 acre feet of water per year. That is 50% more water than the Denver metro area uses annually. For farmers in the West, water represents their livelihood and oil shale could significantly impact their crops and livestock.


Oil shale requires a huge amount of electricity to heat it enough to extract a liquid from the rock.  The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) estimates that producing 1 million barrels per day would require ten new coal-fired power plants, each with a capacity to power a city of 500,000 people.

Economic uncertainty:

According to Ceres economic data (http://www.ceres.org/Page.aspx?pid=1308),

“Before investors can fully assess the benefits of developing oil shale and liquefied coal projects, we need full disclosure of the environmental, regulatory and technological risks surrounding these unproven reserves. Every investor has to take a strong look at these risks.”

Tom Sadler
The Middle River Group, LLC


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