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Bill would reverse oil shale program revision

Nick Snow
Washington Editor
 
WASHINGTON, DC, June 9 -- US Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) has introduced a bill to restore the Bush administration’s oil shale programs and reverse US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s revision of them.
 
Salazar announced Feb. 25 that DOI would offer another round of oil shale research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) leases in Colorado and Utah. He withdrew a proposal for expanded offerings.
 
An earlier oil shale RD&D lease solicitation was withdrawn because it contained several flaws, Salazar said. On June 5, Lamborn introduced his bill, saying Salazar’s actions bring uncertainty to future oil sands research.
 
“Investors will not commit millions, or potentially billions, of dollars to the research and development needed to make oil shale a viable energy source unless they have a clear picture of the financial rewards and challenges associated with such an investment,” Lamborn said.
 
His bill would direct Salazar to issue additional RD&D leases within 180 days of enactment using bids published on Jan. 15, effectively reversing the secretary’s Feb. 25 action.
 
Lamborn’s bill would make commercial oil shale regulation guidelines that DOI published in November permanent and apply them to all commercial leasing of federal oil shale holdings. It also would give the Interior secretary authority to provide incentives to producers by temporarily reducing royalties and fees.
 
“Oil shale could result in the addition of more than 1 trillion bbl of recoverable oil from lands in the western United States. This is too vital a resource to keep under lock and key,” said Lamborn, ranking minority member of the House Natural Resources Committee’s Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee. “Secretary Salazar is dragging his feet with one of America’s most promising new energy sources. America needs to wean itself from foreign sources of energy once and for all.”
 
Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com

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