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Timing at issue for oil-shale development

Timing at issue for oil-shale development

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Oil companies say Congress should allow large-scale development to go forward on federal lands rich with oil-shale reserves in Colorado and Utah.

A moratorium expires in October. But Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter tells a Senate hearing that the environmental impacts of development could be devastating. He wants the federal government to move carefully.

Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., agrees there's no need to immediately open large tracts of federal land. He says oil companies don't even know what kind of technology will work yet.

Shell Exploration & Production says federal permission and regulations need to keep pace with experimental efforts at extracting oil shale.

The Senate hearing was broadcast over the Internet.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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