Don’t let them turn Utah’s public lands into an Estonian wasteland!

Please plan on attending one of two BLM open houses being held this week in Salt Lake City and Vernal to tell the BLM and Enefit, an Estonian-owned oil shale company, that you don’t want to see oil shale developed in Utah.  The BLM is starting a multi-year environmental study to consider the impacts of Enefit developing a large-scale oil shale mine, conducting on-site refining, and transporting the product to market.  It will also look at impacts from several rights-of-way across BLM land leading to the mine site itself, which is located on private lands.  Utah’s air, water and wildlife are already at risk from Governor Herbert’s unbalanced promotion of fossil fuels.  We need you to come to these meetings and tell the BLM “NO WAY!”

Bonanza Power Plant
Enefit hopes to build a massive powerline from the Bonanza coal fired plant (above), one of Utah’s worst polluters, to the company’s proposed mine. Copyright Ray Bloxham/SUWA.

Oil shale is one of the world’s dirtiest fossil fuels and is widely panned as producing significantly more greenhouse gasses than conventional oil, gas or coal.  What’s more, burning oil shale – which is what Enefit plans to do – has widely been reported to produce about the same amount of energy as a baked potato while consuming immense amounts of water and power to do so.  We need to promote renewable energy sources to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, not double down on the dirtiest fuel of them all.

This week’s meetings are “scoping meetings” where representatives from Enefit and the BLM will be available to go over details about the company’s proposal and answer your questions.  The BLM has identified resources in the area such as air quality, water, wildlife and threatened and endangered species, and cultural resources as areas of interest.  Notably absent from this list is climate change and the amount of greenhouse gasses that Enefit’s proposed mine will produce.  The BLM needs to hear from you that this critical issue cannot be swept under the rug!

Here are the meeting details:

Vernal meeting
July 16
Vernal City Hall, Community Room
6:00 to 8:00 pm

Salt Lake City meeting
July 17
Salt Lake City Public Library
Level 4 Conference Room
6:00 to 8:00 pm

You can submit written comments at the scoping meeting or later via email ( or mail (Vernal field office, BLM, Attention Stephanie Howard, 170 South 500 East, Vernal, UT 84078).

See you there!