Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Ad Questions Tipton Vote
Farmers and Ranchers Concerned About Oil Shale Impact on Water Supply
DENVER – The nonprofit Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU) today announced it will run advertisements in eight western Colorado newspapers over the coming days, expressing its continued concerns about water-intensive commercial oil shale development. RMFU represents farmers and ranchers in Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico.
“Western farmers and ranchers, who already face a water shortage, are concerned about the vast amounts of this critical resource that could be needed to make commercial oil shale development viable,” said Bill Midcap, RMFU Director of Renewable Energy Development, noting that some studies have indicated three barrels of water may be needed to produce a single barrel of oil from oil shale. RMFU is concerned that commercial oil shale development could divert water essential to growing food.
Specifically, the advertisement questions a recent vote in committee by U.S. Representative Scott Tipton (R-CO). Rep. Tipton helped defeat an amendment offered by Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA) that would have required a scientific study of the effects of oil shale development on the region’s water supplies before permitting commercial development.
The ad says: “While oil companies have failed to produce commercial oil shale for 100 years, Colorado’s farmers and ranchers have been producing beef, fruit, vegetables, alfalfa, and other goods that sustain our state and our nation. Rep. Tipton: Reconsider your opposition to studying the risks to our water before rushing forward with oil shale speculation.”
RMFU has endorsed the Interior Department’s draft oil shale plan, released earlier this month for public input, which would allow private companies to conduct continued oil shale research—not commercial development—on public lands in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.
“Farmers demand more research,” said Midcap. “We cannot risk our farm economy on reckless oil speculation.”