Today BLM announced it's next steps for oil shale development in the West.
The preferred alternative in BLM’s new draft PEIS would prioritize Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) by requiring lessees to satisfy RD&D conditions prior to issuance of commercial leases.
The preferred alternative would also exclude from commercial oil shale leasing and development: lands with wilderness characteristics, the Adobe Town “Very Rare or Uncommon” area in Wyoming, core and priority sage-grouse habitat, areas of critical environmental concern. That’s just smart policy—figuring out how to develop the stuff before turning over vast swaths of federal lands with other important values for commercial development.
Of course, all of this is going on at the same time that Doug Lamborn, House Republican from Colorado Springs, is sponsoring the PIONEERS Act in Congress to fast-track commercial oil shale development and establish mandates for development of large-swaths of public lands. Scott Tipton voted to report this bill out of committee. The PIONEERS Act is just bad policy, promoting an industry giveaway without understanding of development methods or potential impacts.
posted on: February 3, 2012 | posted by: Petrika Peters