Watchdog Group Cries Foul on Results of Oil Shale Poll
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.-The Checks and Balances Project, a Colorado watchdog group, is accusing Club 20, in partnership with Environmentally Conscious Consumers for Oil Shale, otherwise known as ECCOS, of purposefully misrepresenting stakeholder comments when they claimed a majority of those polled are in favor of more land use for oil shale development.
The Denver-based organization reviewed the stakeholder comments, and says that based on their interpretation, 51 percent of those polled are in opposition to using more land for oil shale, while 37 percent are for it.
"We took a comprehensive look, and we found that a majority supported either the [Bureau of Land Management's] approach, the BLM plan or a stronger conservation plan," explained Matt Garrington, co-director of the Checks and Balances Project.
ECCOS is fighting back.
"We are not at all surprised by the fact that those answers may have been questioned. However, we stand by our audit. We went through objectively, and we did not try to put words into comments; we did not try to assume what people meant," explained Brad McCloud with ECCOS.
The results of that poll were taken into account when Club 20, ECCOS and the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce drafted proposals to the BLM, favoring more acreage for research and development of oil shale.
The BLM's alternative to that would be cutting around 280,000 acres. They hope to arrive at a decision by the end of 2012.