High-carbon energy development in the face of a worsening climate crisis is dangerous public policy. That's why it's so disturbing that the Bureau of Land Management is on the verge of paving the way for dirty oil shale development in the Uinta Basin, near Utah's scenic Book Cliffs and the Green and White rivers.
A pending request for a right of way from an Estonian company would allow it to build oil, gas and electric transmission lines across miles of public land and strip mine thousands of acres for oil shale, one of the world's most carbon-intensive fossil fuels.
When superheated, oil shale rock becomes a goo that can be refined and used as liquid petroleum. But the process requires huge energy inputs and results in massive carbon outputs -- in this case, half a billion tons of potential greenhouse gas pollution.
The proposed project would also cause enormous ecological harm -- converting wildlands into industrialized wastelands, fouling the air, and withdrawing huge amounts of water from the already-overallocated Colorado River basin.
Protect Utah's beautiful desert and urge the BLM to deny the company's application.
June 6, 2016 Action Alert ID# 383
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