Interior Department Blocks Oil Shale Development

Nov 9, 2012

Colorado, Utah and Wyoming oil shale deposits. Source: Argonne National Laboratory.

The disconnect between the administration’s “All-of-the-Above” energy rhetoric and actual policy looks like it’ll continue now that President Obama was reelected. The Hill reports that the Interior Department plans to block 1.6 million acres of federal land from oil development:

The proposed plan would fence off a majority of the initial blueprint laid out in the final days of the George W. Bush administration. It faces a 30-day protest period and a 60-day process to ensure it is consistent with local and state policies. After that, the department would render a decision for implementation.

Interior’s Bureau of Land Management cited environmental concerns for the proposed changes. Among other things, it excised lands with “wilderness characteristics” and areas that conflicted with sage grouse habitats.

This type of development shouldn't be confused with extracting oil and natural gas from shale formations using hydraulic fracturing. This is more akin to mining.

Oil and gas production on federal lands has fallen, and based on this action, I expect that trend to continue.


Subscribe for Updates

First Name:
Last Name:
 Daily   Weekly

The Challenge Cup: Follow the Global Tournament

Join the Discussion