Oil shale and water in the Rockies

Our colleagues at Western Resource Advocates just released a report called "Water on the Rocks" that catalogues all the water rights in Colorado that have been acquired by oil shale interests, or could be used by them, to develop oil shale on a commercial scale.  WRA concludes: "The volume of both water and rights is staggering."

The report found that energy companies have the right to divert enough water each year to meet the needs of 8-10 million people. This water is currently used for agriculture and to supply communities in the mountains and on Colorado's Front Range.  If the water was instead shifted to industrial oil shale production, it would impact many different water users. 

Commercial oil shale production would also increase greenhouse gas emissions and further threaten the precious water supply in Colorado. We need policies that will lead us to a sustainable energy future -- not practices that will devour and/or contaminate our water, an already shrinking vital resource.