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RMFU Thanks Secretary Salazar for Protecting Water from Oil Shale Speculation

Today, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union launched an ad campaign thanking outgoing Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar for his smart approach to protecting western water and Colorado farms and ranches from costly oil shale speculation.

In the ad, RMFU says, “Thank you Secretary Salazar for not gambling our water away on oil shale!” (View the ad here.)

The ad will run in seven newspapers across the state, including the Denver Post, Boulder Daily Camera, Longmont Daily Times-Call, Loveland Daily Reporter Herald, Canon City Daily Record, Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, and Pueblo Chieftain.

The Salazar plan requires oil shale companies to demonstrate that oil shale technology is commercially viable and will not jeopardize water supplies or air quality before Interior will consider granting commercial leases. The plan also ensures that technologies developed include proper safeguards for western water, land, wildlife, air quality, and local economies.

Agriculture is a keystone of Colorado’s economy and way of life, and as the state moves further into the second year of the worst drought in a decade, water supplies are already overtaxed. One of the greatest threats oil shale speculation poses, is to western water sources.
The Government Accounting Office and industry experts have said oil shale could require up to 140 percent of what Denver Water supplies to residents and local businesses.

“Colorado’s farmers and ranchers applaud Secretary Salazar for protecting our farms, our ranches, and our food,” said Bill Midcap, RMFU Director of External Affairs. “Western farmers believe in common sense, and that’s what the secretary used in determining this approach to protecting our water from costly oil shale speculation. We wish we saw a little more of this common sense approach in other public land policy. Colorado farmers and ranchers are facing the worst drought in more than a decade, and we simply cannot afford to gamble away our scarce water resources on oil shale speculation.”