Matheson says oil-shale ban is likely to expire

Groups vow to press on to protect Utah lands

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Anonymous
    Sept. 25, 2008 6:15 p.m.

    Majority Leader Harry Reid is trying to sneak in an extension of the oil shale ban.

    SEC 1602 continues ban on oil shale:

    "Notwithstanding any other provision of law, including section 152 of division A of H.R. 2638 (110th Congress), the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009, the terms and conditions contained in section 433 of division F of Public Law 110161 shall remain in effect for the 19 fiscal year ending September 30, 2009."

    That sneeky little #^&%$#. Utah is sitting on billions and Harry doesn't want Utah to have any of it. Thank you Democrat Harry. What do you have to say to this, Democrat Jim Matheson? Do you agree with your Democrat Leader? Or side with Utah? Where is you allegiance, Rep. Matheson? To Nancy-no domestic energy production-Pelosi or to Utah? Shame on the Democrats.

  • I have a question?
    Sept. 24, 2008 11:53 p.m.

    If a company is drilling for oil in Eastern Utah, they are leasing the land, is it really going to take ten years to get oil? We have a small share in some land in that area that is being leased to drill on. I would love to see gushes of oil this year, but I kind of think that I will see Ed McMahn on my doorstep with a million dollar prize first, and I don't enter those things.

  • Phred
    Sept. 24, 2008 2:40 p.m.

    The technology currently exists. Estonia, Russia, Brazil, China, Germany and Israel are all currently using it. Scotland has been using it for 120+ years!

    The term "reserves" is related to recoverable resources using current technology. At one time the estimate of the reserves of copper available in Salt Lake County indicated that the Kennecott mine would be played out in 1940. Five years ago the mine was set to shut down in ten years. Today it is set to continue for another 24 years partly because of increased prices making lower grade ore economically viable and partly because of improved technology making it not only cleaner but more economical to produce.

    In Utah we are currently importing 20% of our oil from Canada where mine it and cook it technology has made them the largest exporter of oil in the world. Some of our reserves are in sand too.

    My question is, if economic times are tight, why are we eating out 70% of the time instead of home cookin? Because Congress needs to get out of the kitchen!

  • Oil from all sources is needed
    Sept. 24, 2008 1:08 p.m.

    The reality is we need to as a county become more energy independent.

    Right now oil is our main source for energy. Until we find other ways to power our vehicles and homes we need oil any way we can get here in America. All of the oil and energy research and development needs to be done responsibly and safely for both people and environment.

    We need to commit to finding new ways to produce energy and be able to use other sources for transportation purposes. All of this will take time and we need oil until we get to that point.

    As companies make obscene amounts of oil profits make it law that at least 10% of the profit has to go into research and development of new energy sources and delivery systems. For mineral royalties on federal lands add 5 percent royalty to go only for new energy development. As we extract oil from our own natural resources we will help to pay for new energy research and development as we use oil.

  • Joe to SteveS
    Sept. 24, 2008 11:26 a.m.

    My point is simply that the extraction of oil from shale does not necessarily require process water, depending upon what processes are developed. Therefore, the point is that the projected huge demand for water depends largely on how many people are involved in the extraction process. For example, if the shale is heated in-situ, there is no need for extensive mining operations. And once the liquid oil is extracted, it can be transported wherever for further processing.

    I'm sorry my point was lost on you.

  • SteveS
    Sept. 24, 2008 11:22 a.m.

    "Ethanol is a Democrat issue": You may consider the difference between their backing of celuosic ethanol (made from materials no one eats) and corn ethanol, production of which has had a profound impact on food prices this year, and will continue to do so in the near future. Obama did back corn ethanol, but now prefers the celuosic variety, according to a news report from LA Times dated this month.

    "To SteveS": I'm not sure if you're being snarky or serious. A short term solution is exactly what the oil companies and elected officials interested in winning their elections this fall are hoping you'll get behind. At what cost to our children and our planet's future, though? Fact is, we need to wean ourselves from our dependence on oil. period. Increasing production will simply delay the inevitable, and result in a more polluted world in which to live.

    There will be no easy solutions to our energy, transportation, and food problems. All will involve sacrifice of some of the comforts and conveniences we have grown to enjoy over the past few decades. Its a question of priorities: short-term economic benefit or long-term solution?

  • Great News for My Grandkids
    Sept. 24, 2008 11:04 a.m.

    It takes on average 10 years for oil to be produced from newly discovered oil fields. Those oil fields use existing traditional extraction techniques.

    So if it takes 10 years when we know exactly how to get the oil, 2-3 times that amount of time seems reasonable before oil shale produces a drop of oil. I'm a young man with young children. Oil shale might be good news for my grandkids. Wait, make that bad news for my grandkids if they are still depending on oil for energy.

    It makes me laugh when people think they are going to play Jed Clampett in Eastern Utah...."and a up through the ground came a bubblin' crude".

  • To SteveS
    Sept. 24, 2008 9:37 a.m.

    Ah, yeah it is. Short term certainly.

  • Ethanol is a Democrat issue
    Sept. 24, 2008 9:26 a.m.

    While there are some Republicans who are eager to turn food in fuel using your tax dollars, it is interesting to note that the American Corn Growers Association -- "Big Corn", if you will -- has publicly endorsed Barack Obama for president.

    From their August 25, 2008 press release:

    "[Senator]Obama clearly supports the expansion of renewable energy such as advanced ethanol, biodiesel and wind generated electricity, whereas [Senator] McCain has perhaps the single most negative record of any Senator when voting on issues of agriculture and ethanol.

    "Senator Obama supported the recently passed Farm Bill, whereas McCain has opposed every farm bill that has come before Congress for more than a decade."

    Steve, there is this newfangled thingy called Google. You can find out all sorts of interesting facts when you use it.

  • SteveS
    Sept. 24, 2008 9:09 a.m.

    Oil Shale is not a Problem: how many Democrats and environmental are behind ethanol development and production? And how is wind power a "money-losing venture"? You're ignorance on the subject is glaring.

    Profits to oil companies and increasing the oil supply to the nation are not the answers to our energy problems, people!

  • Oil shale is not a problem
    Sept. 24, 2008 8:47 a.m.

    Nothing to worry about is correct: Even with higher prices oil shale is not a very profitable venture. That's primarily the reason it has not been developed as a resource yet.

    If you environmentalists can convince your Democrat allies in Congress to stop using tax dollars to subsidize oil shale development, then nothing will happen.

    However, having seen how environmentalists and Democrats eagerly support subsidies for money-losing ventures such as biofuels and wind power, I'm not very optimistic.

  • SteveS
    Sept. 24, 2008 8:08 a.m.

    Joe, you make me laugh. Fewer showers and not watering one's lawn? How have people reduced their water consumption in the past in Utah? Answer: they haven't. Oil shale production is not an incentive for them to conserve water. To think that people will change their living habits so an oil company can make billions of dollars is ridiculous.

    Nothing To Worry About: adhering to environmental laws is not the concern of the oil companies. Changing the environmental laws so they can do what they want without worrying about environmental impact is their goal. There is no "peachy" scenario to oil shale: its by-products include acid drainage, introduction of metals into surface-water and groundwater, increased erosion, sulfur-gas emissions, and increased CO2 production.

  • jumipin' jack
    Sept. 24, 2008 8:09 a.m.

    "...the low royalty is needed to help prod development of oil shale."

    That tells the whole story. The oil companies get to take all the money and leave an environmental disaster behind them for a product that needs to be subsidized pay tax payers just like the ethenol debacle.

  • Nothing to Worry About
    Sept. 24, 2008 7:10 a.m.

    "but chances appear a bit stronger that Congress will lift a moratorium on oil-shale development in Utah, Colorado and Wyoming although environmental groups say that would be a financial and ecological disaster"

    If indeed oil shale is to be a financial disaster, then there will be no incentive to develop it. That is simple economics.

    During development, we merely need to ensure that environmental laws are adhered to, and everything should be peachy.

  • nottyou
    Sept. 24, 2008 6:50 a.m.

    Get 'er done! It's worked in other countries...let's give it a try here...what's a few billion?

  • Joe
    Sept. 24, 2008 1:47 a.m.

    Oil shale will continue to be an unproven resource if we keep locking it up with moratorium after moratorium. It's about time we made some positive steps forward. 1.8 billion barrels is a lot of potential resource.

    But of course, there are always those who pronounce gloom and doom. And the intensive water use is to support the people living in the area where oil is being extracted. We could reduce their water use if they would just take fewer showers and not water their lawns so much.