Re "Fossil fantasy: Oil shale is not the answer" (Our View, Sept. 10):
Arguing that oil shale production in Utah and other Western states shouldn't be pursued because of the disappointments of past oil busts is like arguing that companies should make no new investments because of the disappointments of past recessions. America's economy is great because of our willingness to invest in promising opportunities and our refusal to be restrained by fear based on earlier failures.
Oil companies have invested heavily in technologies that substantially mitigate the environmental impacts of oil shale production, including ways to reduce how much fresh water is used. Great strides have been made in restoring land once shale activity is completed. Finally, stringent state and federal laws and regulations ensure protection of ground and surface waters.
Shutting the door on oil shale production says no to 800 billion barrels of oil (nearly triple Saudi Arabia's proven oil reserves), no to 100,000 new jobs, no to $400 billion in increased federal revenue, no to greater diversity of our fuel supply and yes to increased oil imports. Oil shale states like Utah can't afford that. Neither can America.
Erik Milito Upstream director American Petroleum Institute