Feds to consider tar sands, shale projects

SALT LAKE CITY — The federal government says it will take a fresh look at commercial oil shale and tar sands plans in the western United States.

The Bureau of Land Management said today it would soon begin performing environmental studies for potential projects on federal land in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. The agency is seeking public comment.

The agency says that with commercial oil shale projects at least several years away, it wants to study what public lands would be best suited for such efforts.

Environmentalists are fighting an effort by a Canadian company to mine tar sands in eastern Utah. It would be the first project of its kind in the U.S. Known as unconventional oil, the material is trapped in rock and sands and must be extracted to create petroleum.


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