Two wildflowers that grow only where there are oil shale or tar sands will stay off the federal endangered species list for now. Instead, an agreement has been worked out to protect some of the areas where they grow in eastern Utah.
The two species are Graham’s beardtongue and White River beardtongue, two small flowers related to snapdragons. They grow in eastern Utah and western Colorado where oil shale or tar sands are close to the surface.
Seven environmental groups are telling the Bureau of Land Management they plan to sue the agency over its leasing plan for oil shale and tar sands. They say the agency didn’t consult the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the possible impact on endangered species.
Attorney Steve Bloch with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance says the 60-day notice is required before the suit can be filed in federal court.
US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has announced a plan to encourage oil shale and tar sands development in the Mountain West. The Bureau of Land Management released its final plan Friday to develop and test technologies to extract these fossil fuels in Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming. But the citizen group Utah Tar Sands Resistance says this move will endanger the environment and public health.
Governor Herbert sends a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the “Tar Sands Monster” pays a visit to downtown Salt Lake City, and the Utah State Board of Regents OK’s a policy change that could increase college tuition for those who drag their feet.
About two dozen demonstrators gathered outside the Bureau of Land Management Office at the Gateway to offer their own "People's Environmental Impact Statement" on tar sands. They object to a decision by the federal government to make more than 130,000 acres available for tar sands development in Utah. Right now, the only active tar sands project in Utah is the proposed U.S.