Colo oil shale regulation ban has now expired |

Colo oil shale regulation ban has now expired

Phillip Yates
Glenwood Springs Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” A little after midnight this morning, a ban that blocked the Bureau of Land Management from issuing final oil shale regulations faded away. Those regulations are expected to be released at the end of this year.

Last week, Senate Democrats tried passing a bill that included language that would continue to prohibit the Bureau of Land Management from issuing final oil shale regulations. However, that effort died on a 52-to-42 vote.

Language to continue the ban, which was slipped into a spending bill last year by Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., was also left out of a spending package that will fund the federal government until March.

Because no legislation has passed with the oil shale ban included, it went away today. However, Ken Salazar, along with Rep. Mark Udall, D-Eldorado Springs, and Rep. John Salazar, D-Manassa, have all said they will fight to “restore an orderly process for oil shale development” when Congress reconvenes in January.

The oil shale regulations have become an election year issue. Republicans criticized Democrats, especially both Salazars and Udall, for their support of the oil shale ban.

The completion of those regulations later this year, along with an expected record of decision that will open about 360,000 acres in Colorado to possible oil shale development, could open the door to a potential sale of federal oil shale leases in the state. However, BLM officials say that it could be years before any lease sale occurs.

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