Mike Rosen’s methane-rich nether parts

Today’s Rocky Mountain News includes Mike Rosen’s latest work of fiction

Our task in the short run is to develop aggressively those fossil fuel resources, including offshore oil deposits, ANWR and as much as 2 trillion barrels of shale oil in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.

According to the RAND report, a full-scale commercial oil shale industry might be able to recover between 800 billion and 1.1 trillion barrels of oil, by some distant point in the future.  The 2 trillion is total reserves, not recoverable, but of course Rosen doesn’t care much for facts being a ‘columnist and not a reporter.’  

A couple more choice bits of gas from Mr. Rosen after the fold…

Continuing the GOP desperation to go with whatever sticks (and to try to make anything stick whether its missed non-votes or Paris Hilton) Rosen, unabashed Republican shill that he is–jumps on the ‘Democrats are to blame for high pump prices’ bandwagon, even as ExxonMobil again posts record in the history-of-the-world quarterly profits.  

Contrary to the claims of U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar – the Senate’s leading oil shale obstructionist – the technology is feasible and imminent.

According to Shell–the furthest along in research at its Mahogany Project–a decision about whether commercial oil shale development is even feasible (immanence aside) is five or more years down the road, and commercial production is beyond 2015.  Last year Shell withdrew its state permits for the ‘freeze wall’ test because the costs were spiking and the technology wasn’t ready.

And, no, doing so won’t despoil the Rocky Mountains. There’s plenty of land, and this constitutes only small fraction of it.

The Green River Formation covers 16,000 square miles, an area larger than 9 of the 50 states.  

The allegedly more environmentally-benign approach that Shell is pioneering (in-situ versus mine and retort) still requires 100% ground disturbance to get at the resource being extracted, would cause permanent changes to the topography, and would displace flora and fauna for ‘decades at a time’ according to the RAND report.

Then there is the issue of water (3-7 barrels of water for every barrel of fuel produced); energy needs (several new coal-fired power plants for a commercial-scale oil shale industry); and over a hundred thousand new residents in Rio Blanco, Garfield, and Mesa Counties.  

Being a ‘columnist’ unbound by facts must be an easy job, if you can get it.  Once again, Mr. Rosen points to a real solution to our energy dilemma: tapping that rich source of methane bubbling out of his every orifice.  

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