Oil Shale is a False Promise and Bad Investment

Environment Colorado

With today’s announcement of the Bush administration’s proposed regulations to lease land in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah for oil shale development, the President is again holding out a false promise of lower gasoline prices to Coloradans.

President Bush’s plan amounts to gambling our energy future on an unproven technology that is a bad bet today and an environmental disaster for Colorado tomorrow. Oil shale is years from providing gasoline meaning that reaching for those resources won’t help lower prices or the pain at the pump today.

Developing Colorado’s oil shale resource would have profound impacts on the northwestern part of the state, especially on the areas water resource. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, mature oil shale production of 2 million barrels of oil per day would require between 2 million and 6 million gallons of water per day for mining and processing. In addition, continuing our dependence on oil will raise global warming pollution for years to come. Instead of drilling down, we need to get beyond oil to lower gasoline prices.

For seven years President Bush has had the authority to take the biggest single step towards saving consumers money on gasoline by increasing fuel economy standard.  For seven years he refused to increase standards.  Instead of a false promise, he should work with Congress to pass these standards.

We simply cannot drill or mine our way to energy independence.  We use approximately 25% of the world’s oil but have less than 2 percent of the world’s known oil reserves.  We must use our energy resources more efficiently and switch to renewable resources.