BLM proposes to open Utah lands for tar sands development

Posted: May 21, 2013

Written by

Amy Joi O'Donoghue, Deseret News
Tar sand in Utah

Utah is home to an estimated 55 percent of the country's tar sands deposits that are concentrated in eight major areas suspected to hold more than 32 billion barrels of oil, the Department of Energy says.

The Bureau of Land Management is now proposing to make 26,402 tracts of that land at Asphalt Ridge outside of Vernal available for potential development. An environmental analysis has been prepared by the federal agency and is under review until June 13.

The tracts of land proposed for leasing are directly south of an existing tar sands strip mine and processing plant located on private land and adjacent to more than 16,000 acres of existing leases issued by the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration.

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