Limited shale exploration on federal lands in the Rockies

November 14, 2012

While working on my story on the Eagle Ford Shale after President Obama's re-election from last Sunday, it was pointed out that though the president is unlikely to interfere in the play here in South Texas, his policy already leaned against allowing drilling on federal lands, an approach that would likely be continued in his second term.

Earlier this week Interior Secretary Ken Salazar made moves reflecting that policy by scaling back a Bush administration plan to lease Western range lands for drilling and exploration, according to the Associated Press.

The land was going to be developed with an eye toward drilling in shale plays and tar sands.

Now, federal officials say they are prepared to lease 1,250 square miles of land, just a third of what the Bush administration had planned. The federal government also announced they were taking "wilderness quality" lands off the table.

Fun fact: This isn't the first crack at developing a shale play in the Rocky Mountains, but the 1920a attempts to get oil flowing out of shale failed.