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Plans for Shale Extraction Would Take Yampa Water, Drawing Threats of Lawsuits

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Shell Oil is seeking about 8 percent of the Yampa River’s peak spring flow in northwest Colorado as part of its plans to extract oil from shale stone amid cries from critics who say the technology is an experiment that will harm wildlife, according to The Associated Press.

The oil industry wants to extract 800 billion barrels of oil shale in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah, but earlier this week, according to this AP story, environmental groups threatened to sue the federal government to prevent it from happening. The groups argue that the feds approved rules for the oil development on about two million acres of land without consulting its own experts at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service–a potential violation of law.

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Moreover, documents obtained by the groups through the Freedom of Information Act state that Fish and Wildlife biologists were worried about “information gaps” in the federal analysis that led the Bush administration to approve the plan.

The Colorado Independent is following the story, and The Denver Post today writes that a moratorium on oil-shale development is warranted.

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