Learning from the Canadian Experience

 Is there bitumen in the United States?

A Calgary-based company called U.S. Oil Sands Inc. has received regulatory approval from the state of Utah to proceed with a 62-acre mine south of Vernal — the first oil sands venture south of the border. The company holds leases on 32,000 adjacent acres underlain by the bitumen-bearing Green River Formation. Energy is currently a booming business in the West, with natural gas wells nearby in Utah and in Wyoming, as well as untapped oil shale prospects in Colorado. There will be challenges — where will we find water to process bitumen in this arid land?  Are we willing to sacrifice wilderness? Do we choose to replace rural communities with industrial landscapes? What can we learn from the Canadian experience?

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