Study: Energy could hurt Rifle |

Study: Energy could hurt Rifle

RIFLE, Colorado – A new study says booming energy development in Rifle could make the city overly dependent on the industry and undermine its agriculture and tourism sectors.

The study released Thursday says the city’s other industries could wither away and not be able to support the area’s economy if energy development declines. The study was conducted by Denver-based BBC Research and Consulting.

According to the study, agriculture could suffer because of urbanization and land values and tourism can be affected by lack of hotel rooms and “declining aesthetic values.”

Rifle Mayor Keith Lambert says becoming a one-industry city could trigger another “Black Sunday,” the nickname for the day in 1982 when Exxon closed its $5 billion oil shale project and 2,200 people lost jobs near Parachute, about 15 miles southwest of Rifle.

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