The Bush administration’s plan to open federal lands in the western U.S. to oil and gas drilling would produce a measly amount of energy and a massive amount of environmental destruction, according to a Wilderness Society report released yesterday. The proposed drilling areas, which are scattered throughout millions of acres in six Rocky Mountain states and include some currently protected lands, would produce enough natural gas to meet the total U.S. demand for about 11 weeks and enough oil for about three weeks, according to the 31-page report. The report says the feds have not accurately assessed whether it would be cost-effective for energy companies to develop the areas. The report was released in advance of a federal study, due out next month, that many fear will promote the Bush administration’s fast-track development of energy resources.
Get Grist in your inbox