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November 23, 2008 05:51 AM UTC

As Bush heads for the exit, he takes our water with him

  • 4 Comments
  • by: Danny the Red (hair)

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Seven weeks after a congressional moratorium on oil shale development expired, the Bush administration has issued rules that take the first step toward tapping an estimated 800 billion barrels of oil trapped in sedimentary rock in Wyoming, Utah and Colorado.

What people in washington don’t seem to understand is that water is more scarce than energy in the west.  At a water demand rate of 4X the oil extracted, oil shale is not a good value for the west even before we examine the BTU-in/BTU-out.

As we all know, oil shale stores about the same amount of energy as a tater tot, but I like how the Politico put it.

Oil shale is a sedimentary rock that contains trace amounts of oil, which can be extracted at high temperatures. But turning shale into usable oil is expensive, and the industry hasn’t been able to do it in a way that is profitable yet. There are also serious environmental consequences at every step. Digging the shale out of the earth damages the landscape, refining it dirties the air, and both steps require massive amounts of water and energy.

Bill Ritter and Ken Salazar’s opposition is highlighted in the article.

“The Bush Administration has fallen into the trap of allowing political timelines to trump sound policy,” Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar said in a statement to the media. “Over and over again the Administration has admitted that it has no idea how much of Colorado’s water supply would be required to develop oil shale on a commercial scale, no idea where the power would come from, and no idea whether the technology is even viable on a commercial scale.”

http://www.politico.com/news/s…

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