Want to give away millions of acres of taxpayer lands to one of the dirtiest fuels on earth? Please attend the upcoming oil shale/tar sands hearings and tell the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) “NO!”

How do you feel about 2 million acres of land in CO, WY and UT being opened to oil shale development and an additional 430,000 acres potentially threatened by tar sands leasing and development?

In Utah, some of our most spectacular redrock country is being studied for potential tar sands development. The BLM is determining whether such an incredibly intensive and destructive activity as tar sands development would be permitted to destroy areas like White Canyon and the Fiddler Butte/Happy Canyon region in Utah. This analysis will also consider whether large-scale industrial processes to extract tar sands or oil shale should take place in the San Rafael Swell or high in the remote Book Cliffs.

A view of the tar sands triangle near the Dirty Devil River Photo by Ray Bloxham

The BLM is initiating a planning process for the future of oil shale development in the West, based on Secretary Salazar’s decision in February to take a fresh look at the oil shale plan that was released in 2008 by the Bush administration, which opened up 2 million acres of western public lands to oil shale. Oil shale has yet to be successfully developed at commercial quantities, but independent scientists project that commercial development would fundamentally transform water supplies, air quality and wildlife habitat in the West. The BLM wants to know what you think, and now is your chance to tell them.

Please attend an upcoming hearing to tell the BLM what you think of sacrificing public lands for potential oil shale and tar sands development! Hearing dates are:

• April 26 in Salt Lake City, Utah – Little America Hotel, 500 South Main, Salt Lake City, (801) 596-5800, Wyoming Conference Room, (1:00 – 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.)

• April 27 in Price, Utah – Holiday Inn Hotel, 838 Westwood Blvd, Price, (435) 637-8880, San Rafael/Skyline Meeting Room, (1:00 – 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.)

• April 28 in Vernal, Utah – Uintah Basin Applied Technology Center, 450 North 2000 West, Vernal, (435) 725-7100, Multi Use Rooms #1, 2, 3 (1:00 – 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

And please submit comments on the plan directly to BLM.

The potential negative consequences if oil shale and tar sands are developed in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah are enormous – it is up to us to make sure that the BLM is considering them.

Oil shale’s triple threat:

WATER – BLM predicts that large-scale development of oil shale alone could require up to 378,000 acre feet of water per year. This is 50% more water than the Denver metro area uses annually.

ELECTRICITY – Oil shale requires a huge amount of electricity to heat it enough to extract liquid from the rock. The BLM estimates that producing 1 million barrels per day would require ten new coal-fired power plants, each with a capacity to power a city of 500,000 people.

AIR IMPACTS/GREENHOUSE GASES – Oil shale has the potential to release 20% more sulfur dioxide and 16% more nitrogen dioxide than was emitted by all electrical generating units in CO, UT and WY combined in 2002. It also emits 23% to 73% more greenhouse gases than conventional liquid fuels from crude oil.

Let your voice be heard — say no to oil shale and tar sands development!

Thanks for all you do!