The United States Congress is expected to pass comprehensive federal energy legislation that will benefit Carbon County and Utah.
"This is a big win for Utah," commented Senator Orrin Hatch on July 26. "We've cleared the way to begin tapping into Utah's vast oil, natural gas and renewable resources that will dramatically affect the nation's domestic energy production. We're also taking a balanced approach, increasing production while also closing the bottleneck at our refineries and promoting alternative sources of energy."
Hatch was a member of the U.S. Senate-House negotiating team that agreed to the comprehensive energy bill on Tuesday morning.
The bill contains Hatch's Oil Shale and Tar Sands Development Act. The act promotes development of the world's largest untapped hydrocarbon resource located primarily in southeastern Utah, Colorado and Wyoming.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, recoverable oil shale in the western region exceeds one trillion barrels. The hydrocarbon reserves represent the richest, most geographically concentrated oil shale and tar sands resource in the world.
Canada previously recognized the potential of the large tar sands deposits in the province of Alberta, noted Hatch. Canada implemented a government policy to promote development - increasing the country's oil reserves by more than a factor of 10 in a few years.
"We have more recoverable oil in Utah and Colorado than in the Middle East," said Hatch. "Yet Utah imports nearly one-fourth of its oil from Canada tar sands, even though we have a larger tar sands resource in the state that until now has remained undeveloped."
The U.S. House and Senate are expected to approve the conference report and forward the federal energy legislation to the president to become law, concluded the Utah senator.