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A coalition of groups in and around Carbondale is proposing a settlement to reimburse companies who own natural gas leases in the Thompson Divide area in exchange for retiring 43 leases currently in question and protecting the area from future energy development there.
Some water experts warn the upper Colorado River is an endangered species if current residential growth patterns and water consumption patterns continue along the state’s Front Range, and they’re increasingly concerned proposed energy production on the Western Slope will accelerate its demise. “I hope America can’t come here and trash out my country here to support the current [oil shale] industry,” said one Routt County commissioner.
A Shell Oil official confirmed Friday that the “in situ” oil shale production the company is researching at its Mahogany facility near Rangely currently consumes about three barrels of water for every barrel of oil produced.