Gordon Wants Oil Shale Development Done on Wyoming's Terms
Today, President George Bush called on Congress to take action and allow drilling for oil in domestic areas which are previously untapped. This is all part of an effort to combat rising gas prices. In his statement the President said he wants Congress to allow drilling offshore in deep water, in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and he wants to encourage efforts to develop oil shale resources in the Green River Basin of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. President Bush said there is potentially three times more oil in the basin than in Saudi Arabia's proven reserves.
Republican candidate for U.S. House, Mark Gordon, says the proposal to drill offshore and in A.N.W.R. may be necessary, but those projects must be done with the utmost care and using the best available technologies and strategies to minimize the impacts. "Fortunately there have been great advances in drilling," Gordon says. "Even during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita there were no major oil spills.
"I do believe that if we drill in those sensitive areas the oil produced cannot go to China or India, it must stay in the United States."
In looking at the proposal to develop the oil shale in the Green River Basin, Gordon says it is important to look to new sources of oil, from oil shale, to tar sands, to enhanced recovery. "This oil shale project could be a huge boon to Wyoming, but we must consider the process and make sure this is done in a way that protects what we love about the Green River Basin."
Gordon points out there are multiple techniques for extracting oil from the shale deposits, it can be done using open pits and underground mines or there is also a process known as in-situ retorting. This leaves the shale in place, but the oil is extracted and that could cut down on the impact to the environment. "Shell Oil is working on this technique and it is actually more cost effective, so I want to make sure we encourage companies to see if this is viable for large scale projects and if the required energy inputs are not too great.
"Even the conservative estimates on the reserves of oil shale resources is so significant we have to put it in the mix of energy sources because this is a way to truly increase the supply of oil," Gordon says. "At the same time this country has to provide incentives for people to use more efficient technologies, that is the true way to increase supply quickly. We also need leadership in Wyoming's seat in the U.S. House to put an end to speculation in the oil market, which is driving up costs."