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Shell to withdraw Yampa River water rights application for oil shale development

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Shell cites the global economic downturn and the effects upon its oil shale program as the reason for withdrawing its water rights application to divert  375 cfs of water from Yampa River in northwest Colorado.  Combined with a storage component of the proposed project, Shell may have been able to divert up to 60,000 acre-feet of water annually for use in commercially developing oil shale.

Regarding today’s decision by Shell to withdraw its application for water rights in the Yampa River for oil shale development, Western Resource Advocates President Karin P. Sheldon released the following statement:

“Western Resource Advocates commends Shell for withdrawing its application for oil shale water rights in the Yampa River, one of the last free-flowing rivers in the West.

Oil shale development is incompatible with sustaining the West’s clean air and water, rural agricultural communities, and wild landscapes.

Although Shell says it will continue with its research, the company acknowledges that the process will be slow and contingent upon such factors as the development of a viable oil shale production technology.  It is obvious that commercial oil shale development is still not ready for prime time.

As a result of Shell’s actions, Colorado residents can breathe a little easier and the Yampa River lives to flow another year. ”

Western Resource Advocates filed one of the 25 statements of opposition to Shell’s water rights filing in Colorado Water Court.

Peter Roessmann  |  Western Resource Advocates

Communications Coordinator
2260 Baseline Road, Suite 200  |  Boulder, CO 80302
303.444.1188 x221
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