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The Spiral Jetty

    |  Posted Mar 12th, 2008 @ 5:30am



 

It has become obvious in the last month that the Spiral Jetty is one of Utah's most famous works of art.

There it sits along a northern shore of the Great Salt Lake - a 1,500 foot long coil of basalt rock that was constructed in 1970 by world-renowned earthwork artist Robert Smithson. It is famous enough that thousands of arts aficionados worldwide have emailed Utah officials to protest plans to allow a Canadian company to drill for oil on the lake, within five miles of the Spiral Jetty.

Care, of course, must be taken to protect the Spiral Jetty from any unnatural activity that could potentially harm the acclaimed sculpture.

Aside from the artwork, though, looms the bigger question of the impact oil drilling would have on the delicate ecosystem of the Great Salt Lake itself. The oil that is known to be beneath the lake is said to be tarlike, high in sulfur and costly to refine. Is it worth allowing the drilling to go forward for a product of questionable value?

KSL urges Utah's Division of Oil, Gas & Mining to consider every angle on this controversial proposal before allowing any oil exploration or extraction to occur on the Lake or near the Spiral Jetty.