Monday, April 12, 2010

State issues conditional permit for tar sands development

The quest to become the first to develop tar sands for oil extraction in the United States may begin in Moab’s backyard. The state Division of Oil, Gas and Mining has conditionally approved an application from Earth Energy Resources, of Alberta, Canada, to develop a tar sands mining operation in Uintah and Grand counties.

The state agency will require Earth Energy Resources to post a $1.7 million reclamation surety bond, and told the company that it must comply with the regulations of “all local, state and federal agencies with jurisdiction over any aspect of the operator’s mining operations,” according to a letter from UDOGM to the Grand County Council.

Council members did not discuss the environmental impacts of the proposed development, which straddles the Grand and Uintah County border. On its website, Earth Energy states that its process “is a revolutionary and swift extraction process that uses little water and leaves behind no toxic chemicals or tailing ponds.” Moab Times-Independent