BLM wants oil shale projects to show viability before granting leases, Salt Lake Tribune, March 22, 2013
Under draft guidelines released Friday, oil shale and tar sands developers would have to demonstrate their technologies work and can yield petroleum in an economically and environmentally sound manner before winning full access to federal lands.
The Department of Interior’s proposed rules, which drew a swift rebuke from Republican lawmakers, accompany a major Record of Decision that sets federal acreage open to oil shale development at about 700,000 acres in Utah, Colorado and Wyoming and another 130,000 acres of tar sands in Utah.
White House finishes review of BLM royalty rule, (paywall) E&E News, March 18, 2013
The White House this month finished its review of a draft Interior Department rule governing future royalty rates for oil shale in the Rocky Mountains, a sign that the long-delayed proposal may soon be released…
Under the February 2011 settlement with more than a dozen environmental groups, Interior agreed to set a royalty rate that would balance the needs of industry while ensuring a fair return to the American taxpayer. The agency must also consider withdrawing the royalty rate altogether until more is understood about the costs of oil shale development. A report last November by Taxpayers for Common Sense urged the latter, arguing that a royalty rate is premature because no company has developed a commercially viable technology.
Utah oil shale becomes political punching bag in Estonia, Salt Lake Tribune, January 25, 2013
An Estonian firm’s plan to develop oil shale resources in Utah has sparked a political ruckus inside the small Baltic nation.
According to Estonian media reports, opposition members of parliament are challenging the competence of Economic Affairs Minister Juhan Parts in light of a recent report that the Eesti Energia’s Utah venture, known as Enefit American Oil, could lose millions.