Feds seek extension of deadline in Western oil shale suits
GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado – Federal officials have requested a fourth extension of a deadline to respond to lawsuits over plans to open nearly 2 million acres of public land in Wyoming, Utah and Colorado to commercial oil shale development.
Environmentalists filed the lawsuits when President George W. Bush was still in office. The Obama administration said in a filing in federal court in Denver last week that newly appointed officials need to review the issues.
The two lawsuits challenging oil shale plans by the Bush administration claim federal officials improperly curtailed public comment and didn’t consider the development’s potential effects on climate change, air quality or endangered species.
The shale deposits are thought to hold more than 1 trillion barrels of oil. The technology to extract the oil is still being developed.
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