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Tar sands impact

Published November 8, 2012 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In "American oil boom: The good news and the bad news" (Our View, Oct. 28), The Tribune editorial board fundamentally got it wrong again. Republicans have claimed that the Obama administration has curtailed oil and gas leasing on public (federal) lands, which is absolutely true.

While energy commodities production is undoubtedly market driven, the "rules laid down" by government significantly impact the viability of this important domestic industry.

In 2011, Utah mineral companies created about $9.2 billion in mineral commodities value. Wow, just think of the many jobs, tax revenues, favorable trade deficit balance and national security impacts, along with many other public benefits, this creates for all of us.

Does the editorial board believe that billions of barrels of naturally occurring (tar sands) oil at and near the surface of the Book Cliffs lands have no impact on water supplies? If humans had created this situation, it would be deemed a massive environmental Superfund site, requiring the oil to be removed from the soil. Go figure.

Obviously, Utah's governmental professionals in the mining and environmental agencies do not consider the removal of this oil to be an "environmentally risky scheme." Please dig deeper next time.

Thomas W. Bachtell

Park City