BLM: Colo. Shale Projects Won't Seriously Affect Environment

The Bureau of Land Management concluded this week that two experimental oil shale projects in northwestern Colorado will not have significant environmental impact.

BLM said Shell Frontier Oil and Gas's project in Rio Blanco County might reduce groundwater levels, affecting four endangered Colorado River fish species: the bonytail, Colorado pikeminnow, humpback chub and razorback sucker. The agency said it would consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service to reduce the potential effects.

Shell, Chevron USA and other oil companies are competing for federal permits to operate experimental oil shale projects. If the test projects are approved, firms would get the opportunity to lease larger federal tracts for commercial operations starting next year (Judith Kohler, AP/Salt Lake Deseret Morning News). (All cites Aug. 18 unless noted.) --

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