Regional Management of the Energy-Environment Interface: Techniques Applied to Colorado Oil Shale Development

Walter E. Hecox

DOI: 10.2190/F02W-X0Y6-TX9D-GKG4


Northwest Colorado is a resource-rich region endowed with massive deposits of oil shale supplementing a rich mix of other energy, mineral, agricultural, recreational, and aesthetic resources. Variations in national interest concerning synthetic fuels subject the region to drastic changes in economic activity and environmental impact. Booms and busts occur as energy companies and the federal government make incremental changes in strategy. The ability of such a region to anticipate and help shape its future depends upon capacity to measure projected economic activity and calculate potential social and environmental impacts. Environmental impact assessment tools are not sufficient when change is so wide-spread and pervasive. A Colorado Resource Information System has been developed as an integrated tabular and spatial system capable of tracking multi-source growth and calculating potential associated impacts. The organization and scope of this management system is described and its potential for assisting the region evaluated.

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