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BLM shuts off oil shale development

U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) denounced another ruling by the Obama Administration that shuts down access to federal lands for American energy production and kills jobs that come with it. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's ruling closes off more than 460,000 acres of land that rich in oil shale and tar sands. Closing off these lands is a significant missed opportunity to create jobs and lower energy costs for Utahns.

"Once again, the Obama Administration caved in to their liberal environmentalist allies and said no to creating jobs and lowering energy costs for Utahns," Hatch said.

"The Energy Department says there's nearly a trillion barrels of recoverable oil in the three-state region from oil shale, and 90 percent of that is on federal lands. But this ruling says that instead of extracting this American energy and creating jobs right here in Utah, we're going to continue to import foreign sources of oil and export jobs. It's one more step backwards for this Administration and another sign they just don't get it."

In 2008, the BLM proposed two million acres of public lands for oil shale and tar sands research and development. However, today's announcement means that the BLM is cutting off more than 75 percent of those lands for research and development.

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