#oilshalefail – Another boondoggle by Lamborn

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)



Speaker of the House John Boehner is bringing his controversial highway bill (H.R. 7) to the floor this week. The Speaker has included Rep. Doug Lamborn’s oil shale boondoggle (H.R. 3408) as one of his funding sources.

Since oil shale doesn’t actually generate any money, we thought pointing out the truth behind Boehner’s and Lamborn’s bills was worth a new Checks and Balances Project video.



It’s bad enough that Lamborn’s bill actually creates a new subsidy for oil companies by setting “bargain basement” royalty rates for oil shale. And that it would hand over two million acres of public land to oil companies for the sake of oil shale speculation and mandate commercial leasing on 125,00 acres of public lands even though there is no commercial oil shale industry.

But now the Speaker is saying that we will pay for millions of dollars’ worth of repairs to highways and bridges with revenue from oil shale.

The problem with that plan is that oil shale creates zero revenue. And for that matter, zero energy and zero jobs.

In 100 years, oil shale has never been commercially developed in the United States despite billions in taxpayer-funded research and development handouts to industry.

In fact, Shell Oil, which is recognized as a leader in oil shale research, says the earliest that commercial oil shale technology could be available is next decade, and possibly later.

“A commercial decision would be in the middle of the next decade and possibly later depending on the sequence and outcome of research activities.” – Shell Oil website

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office reported “the legislation would not affect revenues” and projected zero revenue between 2012 and 2022.

Even Lamborn admitted to Allison Sherry at the Denver Post that oil shale “is not a real contributor to the highway transportation needs we have.”

So in addition to our video, I sent a letter to Speaker Boehner and Rep. Lamborn. In the letter I asked a very simple question:

“We respectfully request an explanation to the American taxpayer of this disconnect between fact and rhetoric.”

I’m hoping to hear back from the Speaker or Rep. Lamborn soon, but I’m not holding my breath.

The facts are clear. If America tries to fund highway repairs with oil shale revenues, we’re just looking at an increase in deficit spending. We need to spread the word, so people are educated. Watch our video. Share it with your friends.

And whenever you’re tweeting or facebooking, use the hashtag #oilshalefail. If we work together and make enough noise, maybe we can drown out the spin and rhetoric politicians are putting out there on oil shale.  

4 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

    But if you ask me, it’s a little wasted on Lamborn. Why don’t you make a version of the ad that hits Tipton, who also sponsored this mularkey?

  2. BlueCat says:

    instead of the obnoxious Coffman ads. It’s just what Dems need: short, to the point, really, really easy to understand. This is the kind of messaging Dems should have been doing for the past 20 years. Too bad they spent so much of their time and money on the “Don’t hate us.  We’re almost just exactly like Republicans” message instead.  

    As for the Coffman TV ads, I was surprised to see them so early. Guess the new district is at least forcing them to spend a lot more money on the guy.  

      • BlueCat says:

        that’s mainly going to be spent on Rs.  The more money candidates and supporting orgs feel they have to spend on one race, the less they have for others.  Chamber must be at least a little concerned to be doing this now.

        I don’t care whether Dem candidates or supporters or other organizations put up smart aggressive pro-Dem, anti-R ads as long as somebody does and this is a smart aggressive Dem message ad.  In this ad, you see the same brevity and simplicity that Rs have been using to sell their talking points all these years and they’ve been damn good at it.  

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