February 25, 2009
Laura Henderson (202) 621-2951

IER: Interior Decision on Oil Shale Locks Away American Energy Resource Larger than Total Reserves of Middle East

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Institute for Energy Research (IER) president Thomas J. Pyle issued the following statement today after the Interior Department announced its plans to withdraw from consideration acreage in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming where research and development of a small portion of our nation’s homegrown oil shale reserves had previously been scheduled to take place:

“Earlier this week, Secretary Salazar suggested America’s massive and homegrown reserves of oil shale held ‘great potential.’ Unfortunately, the Interior Department’s decision today may help ensure that potential never becomes reality – in the process, locking-away an American energy resource larger than the total reserves of the entire Middle East.

“At a time of great economic uncertainty, with millions of Americans out of work and state budgets stretched beyond their breaking point, responsible development of America’s abundant shale resources could be a way out of our current condition, and a way back to a better one. The Interior Department’s announcement today effectively forecloses that opportunity.”

NOTE: In a story posted Sunday by the Salt Lake (City, Utah) Tribune, reporter Thomas Burr quoted Secretary Salazar as saying to a group of western governors gathered in Washington that oil shale had “great potential.”

More from IER on the potential and promise of America’s massive reserves of oil shale:

The Institute for Energy Research (IER) is a not-for-profit organization that conducts intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets. IER maintains that freely-functioning energy markets provide the most efficient and effective solutions to today’s global energy and environmental challenges and, as such, are critical to the well-being of individuals and society.


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