Following Chevron’s decision to pull out of oil shale development, The Denver Post looks at what oil shale means for Western Colorado. The paper supports continued research with the understanding that oil shale has yet to produce. What is doesn’t support is Lamborn’s new bill:

We hope another company picks up Chevron’s lease and that Royal Dutch Shell and AMSO continue their efforts to make oil shale viable in both a commercial environmental sense.

Until that day, oil shale remains a long-shot option to meeting the nation’s energy needs.

That’s one reason we were unimpressed with U.S. House action last month aimed at increasing production of oil shale by authorizing up to 2 million acres of Western lands for exploration.

The bill, authored by Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, does include provisions we support, such as pushing for increased offshore drilling. But the focus on oil shale is misleading and, it so happens, unpopular with a number of leaders on the Western Slope who fear the effects of serious shale development on their communities.

The paper is surprised that Lamborn put so much attention on oil shale when there is clearly action happening elsewhere: oil and gas production is on the rise and “domestic oil output is the highest in eight years.”

Colorado is of course part of this larger story of the renaissance in oil and gas production. But as Colorado Department of Natural Resources director Mike King said recently, oil shale is on a separate track. “We need to be thorough and have a full understanding of potential impacts to the environment and our communities before we take steps toward large-scale leasing or development of oil shale,” he rightly insisted.

Read the complete article here.