Comments Submitted re BLM Draft Oil Shale Programmatic Env. Impact Statement

May 5, 2012

On May 4, 2012, NWF, TU, TRCP, CWF and WWF submitted comments to the BLM on its draft oil shale programmatic environmental impact statement (DPEIS).  We support Preferred Alternative 2(b).    The comment letter states,”…we are encouraged to see that under the Preferred Alternative 2(b) identified in the 2012 DPEIS, operators will only be able to secure commercial development rights after fulfilling the terms of a Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) lease.  By requiring companies to first prove their technologies and assess the impacts to communities, human health and fish and wildlife, Alternative 2(b) helps ensure that commercial oil shale… development will only be initiated following a fuller understanding and evaluation of its impacts. “

“Preferred Alternative 2(b) also places off-limits areas containing important environmental and ecological values, including fish and wildlife habitats.  This is an important step forward because, while the full impacts of commercial-scale oil shale …development are not yet understood, we do know that such development using current technology, is incompatible with conservation of fish and wildlife habitats.  All of the current extraction technologies being tested require operators to remove existing vegetation and either mine or re-grade the entire surface of the leased site, completely destroying habitat values.  We, therefore, support the determination, reflected in the Preferred Alternative 2(b) to exclude oil shale … development within vital habitats such as crucial winter ranges for big game, breeding habitats for Greater sage-grouse, and native trout streams.”

Here is the comment letter pdf 

media/SFRED OSTS DPEIS 2012 merged comments[1].pdf

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