A federal bill that would extend a ban on leasing out public lands for oil shale development failed to pass Friday on the floor of the U.S. Senate.
The one year moratorium, which took effect in 2007, expires Tuesday.
Governor Bill Ritter says President Bush, who threatened to veto the bill if it passed, is pushing oil shale development too soon. He says it would be irresponsible to press ahead with commercial oil shale leasing.
U.S. Senator Wayne Allard, a Republican, says he is pleased with the result of the vote, saying the ban ignores the needs of our country and is insulting to people struggling to pay high gas prices.
Officials estimate the oil shale on public land in Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado could produce 800 billion barrels of oil.
State leaders say most oil and gas companies tell them they are still about ten years away from developing the techonology needed to make oil shale commercially viable.
REPUBLICAN SENATOR WAYNE ALLARD SAYS HE IS PLEASED WITH THE VOTE, SAYING THE BAN IGNORES THE NEEDS OF OUR COUNTRY AND IS INSULTING TO PEOPLE STRUGGLING TO PAY HIGH GAS PRICES...