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Salazar Fails to Close Door on Oil Shale

Posted Oct. 20, 2009 / Posted by: NBerning

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Alex Moore, amoore@foe.org, 202-222-0733 Nick Berning, nberning@foe.org, 202-222-0748

Salazar Fails to Close Door on Oil Shale

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Friends of the Earth President Erich Pica had the following response to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar’s announcement today that the Department of the Interior will offer a second round of oil shale research, development and demonstration leases:

“While we appreciate Secretary Salazar’s efforts to improve the Bush administration’s oil shale leasing program, his proposal fundamentally fails to close the door on oil shale—a dirty fuel that is destructive to the environment and local communities. Instead of allowing oil companies to exploit our pristine, public lands to produce their dirty fuels, we should focus on developing clean energy and clean technologies.”

Producing oil shale is expected to emit between 20-70 percent more greenhouse gases than producing conventional gasoline and requires about three barrels of water for every barrel of oil produced. Oil shale production will reduce air quality by releasing sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, particulates, ozone precursors, and carbon monoxide into the atmosphere. Ecosystems will be damaged by oil shale extraction, which requires large-scale installations, multiple new power plants, and, potentially, strip mining. There is also no plan for containing the large amounts of salt that will leach into area streams and rivers.

 

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