The O. Zone

In an ever-warming world, Colorado’s long-running oil-shale experiment may finally be dead

By David O. Williams
Real AspenSeptember 27, 2013
One of the strongest arguments I’ve heard against continuing to pursue commercial oil shale production on Colorado’s Western Slope has always been the expense. In an ever-warming world, billions pumped into an unproven fossil-fuel technology would be better spent perfecting renewable forms of energy such as wind, solar and geothermal, oil-shale opponents have long argued.

On the day the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded it’s “extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century,” it makes some degree of sense that the death knell for the state’s long-standing experiment with oil shale may finally have been sounded.

In high-alpine, arid places like Colorado, the least amount of water and energy you can consume to produce more energy the better, one would think. But for a century speculators have been intrigued – some would say obsessed – with unlocking the organic kerogen trapped in rocks on the state’s Western Slope and converting it into oil.

Back when I had a regular job covering energy and environmental issues for the Colorado Independent, I wrote extensively about the seemingly endless quest to make oil shale production commercially viable. Opponents called it a “never-ending science project,” while proponents touted it as the key to energy independence in an increasingly unstable world.
Shell’s in-situ oil shale research project in Rio Blanco County (USGS photo).

To actually extract crude oil from the kerogen, oil companies have to insert and superheat huge metal rods deep underground, requiring a great deal of electrical power. Shell Oil, up until very recently, had been experimenting with underground “freeze walls” to prevent chemical compounds from then leaching into Colorado’s scarce groundwater supplies. And a Shell official once told me it takes at least three barrels of water to produce one barrel of oil (others put that number much higher).

Garfield County Commissioner John Martin later told me we should seriously consider nuclear power, which requires an enormous amount of water for cooling, to provide enough electricity for the state’s still-unproven oil shale industry.

Martin is the same guy who, when he was a cop in the days after Black Sunday, May 2, 1982, served eviction notices to home and business owners shattered by the pullout of Exxon from its Colony Oil Shale Project – a move that cost 2,200 people their jobs. Those layoffs included one of my high school teachers in Denver, who quit to move to Parachute during the height of the boom. She had to move back to Denver a few months later when it all went bust.

Coloradans have long been divided on the promise of oil shale.

“In the last six years U.S. natural gas production has increased 20 percent,” the late Randy Udall told me in 2011. “In North Dakota, the Bakken Formation is yielding 300,000 more barrels of oil today than it did five years ago. The oil and gas industry is very good at unlocking difficult oil and gas petroleum resources. But oil shale continues to be a laggard. It continues to be a no-show, and one must really wonder whether oil shale is ever likely to be a significant player in U.S. energy supplies.”

On the other side of the coin, oil shale expert Dr. Jeremy Boak at the Colorado School of Mines likened the Obama administration’s “go-slow” approach to oil shale to the Bush administration’s foot-dragging on climate change.

“It’s curious to hear the same sort of arguments being made by this administration that were made by the Bush administration for not doing anything on climate change,” Boak told me in 2011. “We’ve got to have all the answers before we can move.”

Now comes the news that, like Chevron in 2012, Shell is pulling out of its research and development leases in Colorado. An oil shale proponent told the Glenwood Springs Post Independent he thought the big oil companies would be able to solve the puzzle but now it’s likely up to the small entrepreneurs (over the course of the next century, I presume).

By then, fossil fuel consumption will hopefully be waning and we’ll never have to smash up or superheat all of those rocks in Northwest Colorado where we all like to hike, bike, hunt and fish.

comments: 52 Comments on "In an ever-warming world, Colorado’s long-running oil-shale experiment may finally be dead"

patsm00re18 – Sept. 30, 2020, at 1:42 a.m.

Just visit Google

jamesjames – Oct. 20, 2020, at 4:10 p.m.

I trust that the leadership over at Colorado will find a solution to this problem and if they are not then they are in for a rude awakening. People want results and if these politicians do not deliver then they may not get elected again in the next election. That is the power of the vote, that is why you need to elect people that are competent and will fight tooth and nail to enhance your standard of living and protect your rights. If you want to see the experiment, you can see among us new map or go to their website and read more about gacha club.

Halenajohn – Nov. 23, 2020, at 1:58 a.m.

Very informative post. It's good to read that they are growing exponentially. Most health products have diverse effects so It's better to use herbal products. You can buy spice online and other Herbal Incense products to gain potency and physical fitness. All the products have good chemicals.

chavesarlene4 – Nov. 27, 2020, at 5:58 a.m.

Thanks for this information.

ira34 – Dec. 17, 2020, at 4:41 p.m.

Thanks for the pot it wa very interesting to read. Very informative.
Anyway I think you'll be very interested to check this out and learn something or get help resume writing services

flash – Jan. 15, 2021, at 1:59 a.m.

An excellent arcticle to read about!
Great work!

frank007u – Feb. 17, 2021, at 12:47 a.m.

If you are struggling to find a reliable academic writing service for your essay, you are in the right place. Before you place your trust, it is very important to know the details about the essay typer service provider. You need to know about writers hired by the Assignment, the money refund policy, etc. before you consider the service provider to be trustworthy. If you are looking for relevant insights, go through this write up to know why homework help online is the most reliable assignment writing service.

Jazzy – Feb. 18, 2021, at 6:48 a.m.

Best Day Spa in Denver Day Spa & Craft Beer Bar for Men, Women and Couples – The Beer Spa : Enjoy a one-of-a-kind spa and wellness experience that combines a day spa with a craft beer bar. Try our beer-infused hot tubs, far infrared saunas, and zero gravity massage chairs paired with a cold pint of beer, wine, or cider. By using beer ingredients to create wellness therapies, we are the best spa in Denver for men, women, couples, and everything in between.

Source: Day spa

Wiki Miki – Feb. 25, 2021, at 12:08 a.m.

WriteEssayToday.Com is a professional essay writing service. We earned the trust of our customers with continuous hard work and proved to be the only choice of the customers. With more than 90% customer repeat rate we became the only choice of students all over the USA and around the world.

Wiki Miki – Feb. 25, 2021, at 12:08 a.m.

WriteEssayToday.Com is a professional essay writing service. We earned the trust of our customers with continuous hard work and proved to be the only choice of the customers. With more than 90% customer repeat rate we became the only choice of students all over the USA and around the world.
how to hire an essay writer for your paper

MikeSmith21 – Feb. 26, 2021, at 1:04 p.m.

People finder search

Alley John – March 02, 2021, at 8:20 a.m.

A citation machine can be defined as a tool that one can use to create accurate references. This type of tool is highly effective in generating references using all the different styles. One will get references for both in-text and the referencing list. Usually, these tools come for free and can generate citations for different types of documents. The citations created by this tool help one in presenting all the sources properly that have been used in a task. By including correctly created references in a paper, one avoids the risk of plagiarism. The tools are also very easy to use, which gives the users a hassle-free way to generate accurate citations.

malessia168 – March 17, 2021, at 5:03 a.m.

Thanks for sharing. I found a lot of interesting information here. A really good post, very thankful and hopeful that you will write many more posts like this one.

best essay writing service
do my essay
do my assignment
Case Study Help

Tao – March 19, 2021, at 6:44 a.m.

Looking for a professional essay writing service. You have trust our professional essay writing company and you won’t be regret your decision. Apart from high-end quality work. Writing a custom buy research papers requires great skill since not only it requires a larger part of the research and present accurate information. MATLAB programmers at matlab Assignment help services take the utmost care of your assignments by keeping the codes simple yet of high-quality. Working with need assignment help will allow potential U.S. students to receive original content.
assignment help online

research writing services

Sylar Lucas – April 01, 2021, at 12:45 a.m.

My Assignment help provide Grammar checker Australia where students can reach out to us with their queries at any point of the day or night and get the most effective solutions for bibliography maker University assessments have to follow specific referencing and citation styles like Harvard, APA, Chicago and MLA. Read more about Australian assignment help review whether you are taking help with assignment writing online for the first time or already have an experience of the same, know that we always give reliable help with a href="">assignment help India writing online. We can make your academic days tension-free

davidlogan – April 06, 2021, at 7:27 a.m. brings offer All type of assignment help, We provide the best assistance if you need all assignment help, We have Professionals to complete your desire Our professionals has expertise of all field like programming help, online Coursework help, our PhD-qualified scholars are just the people for the job. No need to worries, we are here to help you all the academic help. If you are an aspiring Engineer who wants to pursue his professional career in the prosperous land of Australia, the first thing you require is a Competency Demonstration Report (CDR) to immigrate to Australia as an engineer hire our cdr writing service. and if you made a mistake and want to edit your paper, we provide the online paper editor to edit our paper get stress free. And Just visit us to get nursing assignment help service to complete your all solutions for psychology assignment help.

jonesDulciee – April 12, 2021, at 4:39 a.m.

Great post! I didn’t knowral of these resources and I’m going to go check them out now! subway surfers

ledranamle – April 13, 2021, at 6:58 a.m.

Thanks for this great post, i find it very interesting and very well thought out and put together. I look forward to reading your work in the future. 小說

ledranamle – April 14, 2021, at 6:07 a.m.

This blog is really great. The information here will surely be of some help to me. Thanks!. 漫畫

nothing – April 14, 2021, at 7:05 a.m.

We have sell some products of different custom is very useful and very low price please visits this site thanks and please share this post with your friends. 大奉打更人

nothing – April 15, 2021, at 6:29 a.m.

Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed! Extremely useful info specially the last part I care for such information a lot. I was seeking this certain info for a long time. Thank you and good luck. MLB중계

ledranamle – April 15, 2021, at 6:40 a.m.

Thank you because you have been willing to share information with us. we will always appreciate all you have done here because I know you are very concerned with our. 먹튀검증사이트

nothing – April 15, 2021, at 3:30 p.m.

terrific information and i really like to share this form of statistics with my friends and hope they prefer it they why I do ควยเย็ดหี

jedacandy – April 16, 2021, at 6:25 a.m.

That's good news, I've been searching for it for days word finder

cheap assignment writers – April 16, 2021, at 3:02 p.m.

I love it here. Keep sharing your good vibes. I love them Are you also searching for dissertation writing help? we are the best solution for you. We are best known for delivering cheap assignments to students without having to break the bank

cheap assignment writers – April 16, 2021, at 3:02 p.m.

I love it here. Keep sharing your good vibes. I love them Are you also searching for assignment help UK? we are the best solution for you. We are best known for delivering cheap assignments to students without having to break the bank

ledranamle – April 19, 2021, at 7:33 a.m.

Thanks so much for sharing this awesome info! I am looking forward to see more postsby you! Saudi digital marketing company

TOTOSITEWEB32 – April 20, 2021, at 3:35 a.m.

I am very satisfied with visiting here. Thank you for good content. And please visit my website as well. 토토마켓

19GUIDE03 – April 20, 2021, at 3:43 a.m.

It's awesome in favor of me to have a web site, which is helpful designed for my know-how. thanks admin 일본야동

GOSTOPSITE23 – April 20, 2021, at 3:50 a.m.

Hey There. I found your weblog using msn. This is an extremely smartly written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to learn extra of your helpful information. Thanks for the post.
I’ll certainly return.
한게임 섯다 캐릭터

TOTOSAFEDB23 – April 20, 2021, at 3:57 a.m.

Also, I have shared your site in my social networks
Nice and very unique post…help for me…. Thank you very much…

ledranamle – April 20, 2021, at 4:53 a.m.

Thanks for taking the time to discuss that, I feel strongly about this and so really like getting to know more on this kind of field. Do you mind updating your blog post with additional insight? It should be really useful for all of us. smart bud

sian8754 – April 24, 2021, at 2:36 a.m.

Sports Toto safety playground slot site Toto site address Toto boatman Sports broadcast model Shin Jae-eun bikini Hong Kong protest suppression Jang Ye-won announcer Hong Kong stock collapse Baek Jong-won sugar Information management verification Safety playground Major playground Private Toto site Powerball

nothing – April 26, 2021, at 1:26 p.m.

Love to read it,Waiting For More new Update and I Already Read your Recent Post its Great Thanks. Palo Santo

Ethan Taylor – April 27, 2021, at 2:32 a.m.

Check your content with the plagiarism checker tools and make sure your content doesn’t contain any kind of plagiarism.
Write and generate harvard referencing easily and without making any kind of error with the help of the harvard referencing generator tool.
paraphrasing tool is the best tool to ease the work of the students by letting them rephrase their content accurately.
harvard referencing tool is one of the best and most important tools which helps the students to generate and mention harvard referencing easily in their content.

mohsinkhan – April 27, 2021, at 8:09 a.m.

No doubt this is an excellent post I got a lot of knowledge after reading good luck. Theme of blog is excellent there is almost everything to read, Brilliant post. ครีมสำหรับผิวแพ้ง่าย

mohsinkhan – April 28, 2021, at 6:13 a.m.

Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work. หนังมาสเตอร์

nothing – April 29, 2021, at 3:22 a.m.

Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting? I'm pleased I discovered it though, ill be checking back soon to find out what additional posts you include. Elto token

mohsinkhan – April 29, 2021, at 6:23 a.m.

I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style of blogging. I added it to my favorites blog site list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my site as well and let me know what you think. เว็บเดิมพัน

dannyjack – April 30, 2021, at 2:46 a.m.

welcome to allcounrtrybills the most trusted company
that produces fake bills for all country.our bills by
passes ATM machines,UV light,pen test and are freely
used by our clients in supper markets and shop

Contact us for best price and deals ever



Whatsapp No: +1 (505) 596-0330

product link...

dannyjack – April 30, 2021, at 3:37 a.m.

Buy Counterfeit Money Online

Are you looking for a means to pay your accumulated bills,
Buy items from local shops and big super markets, live a
luxurious lifestyle as a millionaire, party and lodge in top 5
stars hotels around the world? Then you are on the right blog as
we have all the necessary materials, and human resources that
will enable our clients to live their dream life. Our priority
is to increase our network worldwide and to create and maintain
long term business relationship with all our clients.

Contact us for best price and deals ever



Whatsapp No: +1 (505) 596-0330

mohsinkhan – April 30, 2021, at 5:16 a.m.

Thanks For sharing this Superb article.I use this Article to show my assignment in is useful For me Great Work. เว็บคาสิโน

mohsinkhan – May 03, 2021, at 6:25 a.m.

Thank you because you have been willing to share information with us. we will always appreciate all you have done here because I know you are very concerned with our. live22 easy

daniel hobart – May 04, 2021, at 2:11 a.m.

Imagine all your essays and assignments being submitted on time, with no plagiarism, proper citations, and an A grade quality content. Well, this is not a dream anymore for you or any other student.Fell free to ask us to write my essay.

mohsinkhan – May 04, 2021, at 6:11 a.m.

Great post, you have pointed out some fantastic points , I likewise think this s a very wonderful website. slotxd pgslot

gabriella123 – May 05, 2021, at 4:44 a.m.

I precisely needed to thank you. I don't have a clue about the things that I might actually concoct the thoughts you have given me without your whole inventiveness, thoughts uncovered here in your site was a particularly grateful for individuals like me. Im truly distressing difficulty on how im going to run my project yet your site is one that remain as my direction. You have worked effectively. Hope your doing well. here

jennifer77 – May 06, 2021, at 1:46 a.m.

Wow, it's amazing
thanks for sharing this post
tech pack template free

mohsinkhan – May 06, 2021, at 4:45 a.m.

I was reading some of your content on this website and I conceive this internet site is really informative ! Keep on putting up. sbobet

Tim Harry – May 06, 2021, at 8:32 a.m.

When it comes getting thesis help, always remember that sometimes you can get some unexpected questions from your instructor. This is not to increase your confusion, but to assess the depth of your knowledge. dissertation writing services have come up to provide affordable services. They help students to continue with their write my essay queryand prepare the academic papers for them. In addition, editing the essay meticulously plays a crucial role. Even if the entire task is impressive to read and relate, poor choice of words, grammatical mistakes and contextual flaws can ruin the work. This is where the significance of professional essay editing service providers comes into play. Thus, the authenticity of our online plagiarism checker lies in our results and reports. Click on the matched results and compare your text with the similar ones that are published already.

mohsinkhan – May 06, 2021, at 11:34 a.m.

I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked your site to check out the new stuff you post. สมัคร UFABET

mohsinkhan – May 07, 2021, at 8:28 a.m.

Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained! หวยยี่กี

ledranamle – May 08, 2021, at 8:03 a.m.

Nice post mate, keep up the great work, just shared this with my friendz aluminum fence

Comment Form Info  Comment Information
Real Aspen encourages you to post comments on our articles and blogs. Logged in email is required for monitoring purposes. Your email will not be published and will not be distributed to any third-party. Abusive, obscene, profane, threatening, libelous or defamatory comments are prohibited. By posting a comment, you agree to this policy and our terms of use. To report an abusive posting, please contact us.

To make a comment, please log in or create an account. This helps us prevent spam and other malicious attacks.

Please log in to comment


Create a user account to comment

Snow Report

  24hr snow mid dpth snow cond.
A-Basin n/a n/a
Aspen n/a n/a closed
BC n/a n/a closed
Breckenridge n/a n/a closed
Buttermilk n/a n/a closed
Copper n/a n/a closed
Crest. Butte n/a n/a closed
Eldora n/a n/a closed
Heavenly n/a n/a closed
Highlands n/a n/a
Howelsen n/a n/a closed
Keystone n/a n/a closed
Kirkwood n/a n/a closed
Loveland n/a n/a
Monarch n/a n/a closed
Northstar n/a n/a closed
Powderhorn n/a n/a closed
Purgatory n/a n/a closed
Silverton n/a n/a closed
Ski Cooper n/a n/a closed
Ski Granby n/a n/a closed
Snowmass n/a n/a closed
Steamboat n/a n/a closed
Sunlight n/a n/a closed
Telluride n/a n/a closed
Vail n/a n/a closed
WinterPark n/a n/a closed
Wolf Creek n/a n/a closed
More Weather Reports
Vail powder day snow snake
Airing it out at Crested Butte
Feb. 17, 2011 Surprise 14 inches of Fresh Powder