Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Gov. Bill Ritter today criticized President Bush's call for Congress and the federal government to hasten commercial development of oil shale in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.
"Colorado is blessed with abundant energy supplies – traditional supplies, renewable supplies, and unconventional supplies such as oil shale," Gov. Ritter said. "I support responsible development of all of these resources. As this state and this country grapple with soaring gasoline and energy costs, this issue is becoming even more urgent and more important.
"When it comes to oil shale, Colorado's history teaches us very clearly that we must have answers to key threshold questions before the federal government moves from research to commercialization of oil shale development.
"No one – not even the companies working on oil shale development – can tell us with any certainty how much energy it will take to develop this resource, where that energy would come from, what the impacts on Colorado's water supplies or quality would be, and what housing, transportation and other infrastructure needs will be.
"The current research, development and demonstration process for oil shale must be allowed to continue. We must not sacrificeColorado in a knee-jerk reaction to decades of failed energy policy. An irresponsible push to commercially develop oil shale at this time, at Colorado's expense, will do nothing to seriously address $4-a-gallon gas.
"I welcome a responsible and thoughtful approach by the administration and Congress. Continued investments in the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, in Colorado's New Energy Economy, in clean-coal technologies and new alternative fuels will make a difference.
"Breaking our addiction to foreign oil and establishing a secure energy future, economic future and environmental future have to be among our highest national priorities.  We need to get on with it. And, most importantly, we need to do it responsibly."