"Legislation recently signed by President Bush instructs the Interior Department to lease 35% of the federal government's oil shale lands within the next year; provides tax breaks to the industry; reduces the ability of states and local communities to influence where projects are located; and compresses multiple, lengthy environmental assessments into a single analysis good for 10 years.
...Residents wonder how oil shale excavations, which can be massive, will affect the half-million-acre basin that supports one of North America's largest migratory deer herds, prized elk haunts and more than 350 species of animals. They also ponder how industrialization and growth might play out in the largely rural landscape of Rio Blanco County, which has a population of 6,000, about 250 miles west of Denver.
...By Shell's reckoning, the denser oil shale formations here could produce a billion barrels of oil per square mile."
Thanks to Ashwani Vasishth