At Western Values Project, we’ve profiled a few times the sordid history of oil shale. In Colorado, the rock made some communities near ghost towns overnight, and left taxpayers with billion dollar loan guarantees that will never be paid back.
Last year, Red Leaf Resources, a company based in Utah, was granted a water permit by the state to begin construction on a pilot project with the goal of demonstrating, “our clean oil shale technology works on a large scale,” according to Red Leaf CEO Adolph Lechtenberger. That’s where the irony sets in.
A new video from the company, demonstrates what Westerners could come to expect from additional “clean oil shale” projects. The video begins with a below ground detonation, and is followed up by bulldozers, bobcats and excavators clearing a wide swath of land in order to bury Red Leaf test capsules. Hardly the picture of an “Eco” friendly project.
To many, oil shale will always be the fuel of the future. A fuel of the future hindered by economic realities and great environmental trade-offs. In the meantime, Western Values Project will continue to track Red Leaf’s progress. Though they’re off to a rough start.