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for people who care about the West

Reports drill Bush energy plan

  As the Bush administration pushes its national energy plan, The Wilderness Society has published a report that says the plan's initiatives are inadequate. The publication, Energy and Western Wildlands, says drilling for oil in U.S. Forest Service-regulated roadless areas will satisfy our national petroleum needs for less than a month, while natural gas reserves on these lands would meet demand for less than three months.


The October report also calculates that oil and gas drilling in 15 national monuments in the West would yield less than six days' worth of natural gas and only 15 days' worth of oil. The study criticizes the Bush administration for calculating the energy development potential of public lands based on the total estimated amount of oil and gas, rather than the amount of oil and gas that would be profitable to extract.


A second report, Fragmenting Our Lands, examines the "ecological footprint" of oil and gas drilling. Using the Upper Green River Basin in Wyoming as a case study, The Wilderness Society says that, while drilling infrastructure there covers only 4 percent of the 166-square-mile study area, 97 percent of the area lies within one-quarter mile of roads, pipelines, waste pits or drilling pads.


For a copy of the reports, visit www.wilderness.org/newsroom/report_energy101402.htm and www.wilderness.org/newsroom/report_fragmenting101402.htm.