David O. Williams | February 21, 2011 | Reposted from Real Vail

Congressman Jared Polis, a Boulder Democrat who represents Vail and surrounding Eagle County, is skeptical that vast oil shale reserves just to the west of his district in neighboring Garfield County are what one pro-business publication last week deemed “the brightest hope for America’s energy independence.”

Polis was reacting to last week’s announcement by U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, a former Colorado senator, that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is taking a “fresh look” at oil shale leasing rules passed in the waning days of the Bush administration in 2008.

“We undoubtedly need a monumental change in what kinds of energy fuel our economy,” Polis said. “We can’t afford to stay addicted to foreign oil, but we also can’t afford to just replace one troubled form of energy with another. The secretary’s decision to revisit the issue, and make sure our public lands and water aren’t jeopardized by hasty decision making is absolutely the right move.”Polis’s district, including Eagle County, is home to the upper reaches of the Colorado River, a basin that would be critical in any future commercial oil shale development. Salazar’s decision was in part a settlement aimed at appeasing two 2009 lawsuits challenging the Bush rules over environmental concerns such as impacts to water resources.

[Read more.]