EN-05-2-Oil Shale, Development and Implementation of a National Strategy

WHEREAS the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that as much as 1 trillion barrels of recoverable oil may exist within the oil shale deposits of the Green River Formation in Northwest Colorado, Southwest Wyoming, and Northeast Utah (the bulk of which is located in Northwest CO), and this is the largest known deposit of oil shale in the world and one of the largest untapped hydrocarbon resources available for development; and

WHEREAS CLUB 20 recognizes the potential value of this oil shale resource, and we also recognize the need to realize this value while sustaining the other existing social, economic and environmental values that comprise the overall quality of life in western Colorado; and

WHEREAS oil shale development is important for our country’s national security to supplement our nation’s growing energy demand; and

WHEREAS without a well-conceived strategic plan for oil shale development, Colorado, Utah and Wyoming may someday be faced with another crisis-driven, commercial-scale oil shale program; and

WHEREAS the U.S. Department of the Interior continues to evaluate the environmental impacts, socioeconomic consequences, technical feasibility, and economic viability of activities proposed for and being conducted on Research Development, and Demonstration (RD&D) leases for oil shale resources of Western Colorado and Utah; and

WHEREAS section 369(e) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPA05) requires that after consultation with affected States, local governments and other stakeholders, if the Secretary of Interior finds sufficient support & interest exists in a State, the Secretary may conduct a lease sale in that State under commercial leasing regulations; and

WHEREAS, Section 369(h) & (i) of the EPA05 requires the U.S. Departments of Energy and of the Interior to take certain actions to prepare for commercial oil shale development;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that CLUB 20 supports research and development efforts leading to an environmentally sound, socially responsible, timely and economically viable oil shale program that will result in the efficient recovery of the resource; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that CLUB 20 supports section 369 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 which directs the U.S. Departments of Energy, Interior and Defense, in cooperation with State and Local governments, to continue to develop and implement an oil shale strategy and urges that this strategy include the following:

  1. Implement a prudently-paced and timely commercial leasing program to allow available technologies to be put into commercial production;
  2. Utilize the existing NEPA process to provide an opportunity for ongoing participation of directly impacted state and local governments as well as “Cooperating Agencies” and the public on the development of oil shale;
  3. Federal decisions should reflect the consensus of “Cooperating Agencies” in a meaningful manner;
  4. Utilize the Joint-Review Process to facilitate and coordinate the federal, state and local permit process;
  5. Support of the existing BLM Research, Development & Demonstration (RD&D) oil shale leasing program and encouragement of fair tax & royalty structures which incentivize ongoing research and commercial development while providing for infrastructure development and impact mitigation;
  6. Provide for appropriate study of and mechanisms for the timely mitigation of impacts from development, including incentives for “up front” industry contributions to state agencies and local governments through establishment of a federal royalty credit for these contributions;
  7. Issue commercial leases when the Secretary of Interior has found that the applicant has demonstrated the capability of proceeding with a technically feasible, commercially viable and environmentally sound technology, and the federal, state and local governments have proper mechanisms in place (regulations, permitting program, NEPA review) to ensure prudent and responsible development;
  8. Concurrent with the commercial leasing program, BLM should continue to make RD & D leases available to provide interested companies the opportunity to develop and demonstrate viable technology; and
  9. Urge the U.S. Departments of Energy, Interior and Defense to fulfill their mandates under Section 369 of the EPA 05.


Adopted 4/1/05

Amended 3/31/06

Amended 9/8/06

Renewed 4/1/2011

Amended 3/30/2012

Renewed 3/30/2018


Resolution in PDF Format