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Letter to the Editor: Oil shale production

Friday, April 8, 2011

I would like to comment on the story in the Southeast Missourian of Feb. 10 on the future of oil shale productions in our western states.

I lived at the foot of the oil shale outcroppings at Palisade, Colo., for many years, a beautiful fruit-growing community.

One of the outstanding features of the oil shale outcroppings is Mount Garfield at Palisade. This mountain is gorgeous in the western sunsets.

In the 1950s and early 1960s, I was employed at different mines in western Colorado: Climax, Colo., 12 miles above Leadville, Colo., hard rock mining (molybdenum); Rifle, Colo., (oil shale); and Parachute, Colo., (oil shale). For many years oil shale production was not feasible because of production costs, even though some roads were paved with shale oil.

The Indians called it "the rock that burns." You could throw some oil rocks in the campfire and they would burn. The only problem was sometimes they would explode and scatter your campfire in all directions.

A town just west of Rifle was surveyed and platted but because of production cost of oil shale, it was not to be.

The oil shale formations go from Western Colorado, across Utah and on and on and on.

Now they have a low-cost way for production. Thousands of American will be employed and our whole country will benefit.

Hopefully it will come to pass.

WILLIAM C. HANCOCK, Scott City