Washington, DC – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, long an advocate of a thoughtful, responsible approach to oil shale development, released the following statement hailing Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) officials on an announcement today that the Department will take a fresh look at its oil shale regulations, encourage continued Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) on oil shale technologies, and ensure oil shale is developed in a way that protects water supplies in the arid West:
“This announcement is a welcome step forward in our efforts to ensure thoughtful, responsible development of Colorado’s natural resources while protecting the land, water and way of life we in the West hold dear. Our approach to oil shale development should be both measured and responsible given the potential effects extraction could have on Colorado’s precious water supplies, farmers, ranchers and local communities in the arid West. While we should allow for research and development to proceed, we must also be mindful of the need to protect our land and water and provide a fair return to American taxpayers.
“Beyond today’s announcement of a path forward for commercial leasing rules, I am also pleased to hear that scientists will undertake a full analysis of oil shale in the context of Colorado’s water supply, considering the importance of this precious resource to farmers and local communities.”
Bennet has actively supported a thoughtful, balanced approach to oil shale development in the arid West. He has repeatedly called for a scientific study to investigate, among other things, development’s effects on Colorado’s water supplies and local communities.