Next week, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will hold two public meetings in Utah to take comments on its 2012 Oil Shale and Tar Sands Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (Draft PEIS). Please come and make sure your voice is heard in favor of protecting Utah’s redrock wilderness!
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Westin Plaza Hotel
1684 West Highway 40
7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
|Salt Lake City
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Grand America Hotel
555 South Main Street
7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
The Draft PEIS is an effort by the BLM to determine what areas – if any – in Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming should be available for dangerous and far-fetched oil shale or tar sands leasing and development.
BLM’s Draft PEIS is also a revision to a disastrous Bush-era plan that opened 670,558 acres of public land for oil shale leasing and 430,686 acres for tar sands leasing in Utah alone, including some of the state’s most iconic wilderness-quality lands such as White Canyon and Fiddler Butte. As a result of litigation brought by several environmental groups, including SUWA, the BLM is now revising that plan.
In the recently-released Draft PEIS, the BLM’s preferred alternative (Alternative 2b) proposes to make 252,181 acres available for shale leasing in Utah and 91,045 acres available for tar sands leasing. This is still too much! BLM’s proposal would leave these lands open for speculative development that could foul public lands, air and water quality, and result in large quantities of greenhouse gasses.
For that reason we support a different alternative (Alternative 3) that would go even further to shutting the door on this “unconventional” fuels nightmare. Alternative 3 prohibits new oil shale leasing and most tar sands development. Under this alternative, only existing oil shale research, development, and design leases would remain on public lands. One commercial tar sands project just outside of Vernal could continue to undergo environmental reviews and permitting. That’s it.
Please attend the public meeting in your area and tell the BLM that America should stop chasing the will-o-the-wisp of oil shale and tar sands. Our public resources are better focused on alternative means of meeting our energy needs through, among others, renewable energy and energy efficiency.
For more information about the public meetings, see the BLM news release.