Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Writes Congress on Oil Shale
DENVER – Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU) responded to Rep. Doug Lamborn’s PIONEER Act today by writing Rep. Scott Tipton, who represents the Western Slope, asking that he reconsider his opposition to an amendment requiring more study before we charge into another round of oil shale speculation. “Rep. Lamborn’s bill has been lambasted in his own local newspaper,” said RMFU President Kent Peppler, “in an op-ed that calls the PIONEER Act ‘more reminiscent of robber barons than families in covered wagons.’ We hope that Rep. Tipton will join his colleagues in amending the bill to require more study. Oil shale has been consuming money and resources for almost a century on the strength of more and more unfilled promises. This is no time for a fossil fuel panic attack that results in a land and water grab with the potential to damage our healthy agricultural economy.”
In the letter to Tipton, Peppler stated that “Oil shale development is not ready for prime time,” and asked the congressman to “Please reconsider your green light vote and protect the livelihood of your rural constituents.” RMFU also sent a message of support to Rep. Grace Napolitano for her efforts to include in the bill a requirement that the U.S. Geological Survey study oil shale development’s potential impact on water, as well as a statement opposing Lamborn’s bill to Colorado Rep. Jared Polis.
Commenting on the bill, Bill Midcap, RMFU Director of Renewable Energy Development, said, “We already face a water shortage in the West that threatens farmers and ranchers. The Western Slope doesn’t have water to spare. The nation cannot let industry take our water for oil shale development at the risk losing the farming and ranching economy that we depend upon for our food and fiber. Agriculture is crucial to Colorado’s economy and is helping pull the state and its rural communities out of the recession.”