Thursday, September 4, 2008

Ritter Criticizes Federal EIS on Oil Shale Development

Gov. Bill Ritter criticized the final environmental impact statement issued by the U.S. Department of Interior in connection with proposed oil shale development in the state today, saying the program is inconsistent with Colorado's commitment to renewable energy and that the Bush Administration is not cooperating with his administration.

"The Bush Administration is engaging in last-minute maneuvering in its waning days rather than developing a comprehensive, meaningful and responsible long-term energy policy for America’s future," Ritter said. "Finalizing an Environmental Impact Statement without any clear understanding of the environmental, community, economic and energy impacts of commercial-scale oil shale development is irresponsible, short-sighted and premature."

Ritter emphasized that his administration is not opposed to all energy development.

“As the national debate over America’s energy future continues, we must be clear that Colorado is committed to helping meet America’s energy needs," Ritter said. "We are issuing about 35 new oil and gas drilling permits a day. We are building a New Energy Economy that is bringing thousands of new jobs to Colorado. And our research institutions are developing cutting-edge, new energy technologies."

“But with the Department of Interior’s action today, the federal government has once again failed to act as a responsible partner for Colorado. This does nothing to address gas prices at the pump today and has the potential to do much more harm than good.”