The Obama administration is calling for cutting the amount of federal lands open for oil shale and tars sands development in the Western states, a plan that industry officials say may force companies to look overseas for opportunities.
A new Bureau of Land Management plan calls for allowing 700,000 acres of land for development, reports Fox News. This is a drastic cut from the Bush administration, which had set aside 1.3 million acres, and the oil industry is outraged by the change.
“What they basically did was make it so that nobody is going to want to spend money going after oil shale on federal government lands,” said Dan Kish, Senior Vice President of Institute for Energy Research.
Oil shale drilling is different from the hydraulic fracking process being used in places like the Bakken shale region in North Dakota or the Niobrara in Colorado. Fracking breaks through layers of shale rock and pumps out oil.