Farmers say thanks to Salazar for pumping the brakes on oil shale leasing

Farmers in the Rocky Mountain states of Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico unveiled an interesting ad buy over the weekend, praising Interior Secretary Ken Salazar for his more measured approach to oil shale research and production than the previous administration.

ken salazar

According to the Associated Press, the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union placed ads in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, the Pueblo Chieftain, the Alamosa Valley Courier, the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and the Casper Star-Tribune over the weekend.

Salazar earlier this month announced a second round of much smaller research leases being offered on public lands in the Green River Formation of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, also calling for greater accountability on progress in extracting oil trapped in shale formations and an investigation of BLM rule making under the Bush administration.

Industry officials were quick to condemn the Obama administration policies on oil shale at the time, and National Oil Shale Association Executive Director Glenn Vawter told the AP over the weekend that “semi-commercial projects” are needed to fully explore all the questions still surrounding the unproven oil-shale production technology.

The agriculture industry and conservationists point out there simply is not enough water in the arid West to support full-scale, commercial oil shale production in the region.

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