oversight

Unconventional Oil and Gas Production: Opportunities and Challenges of Oil Shale Development

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2012-05-10.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                         United States Government Accountability Office

GAO                      Testimony
                         Before the Subcommittee on Energy and
                         Environment, Committee on Science,
                         Space, and Technology, House of
                         Representatives
                         UNCONVENTIONAL OIL
Not to Be Released
Before 9:30 a.m. EDT
Thursday, May 10, 2012

                         AND GAS PRODUCTION
                         Opportunities and
                         Challenges of Oil Shale
                         Development
                         Statement of Anu K. Mittal, Director
                         Natural Resources and Environment




GAO-12-740T
                                              May 10, 2012

                                              UNCONVENTIONAL OIL AND GAS PRODUCTION
                                              Opportunities and Challenges of Oil Shale
                                              Development
Highlights of GAO-12-740T, a testimony
before the Subcommittee on Energy and
Environment, Committee on Science, Space,
and Technology, House of Representatives



Why GAO Did This Study                        What GAO Found
Fossil fuels are important to both the        In its October 2010 report, GAO noted that oil shale development presents the
global and U.S. economies, and                following opportunities for the United States:
“unconventional” oil and gas
resources—resources that cannot be            •   Increasing domestic oil production. Tapping the vast amounts of oil locked
produced, transported, or refined using           within U.S. oil shale formations could go a long way toward satisfying the
traditional techniques—are expected to            nation’s future oil demands. Oil shale deposits in the Green River Formation
play a larger role in helping the United          are estimated to contain up to 3 trillion barrels of oil, half of which may be
States meet future energy needs. With             recoverable, which is about equal to the entire world’s proven oil reserves.
rising energy prices one such resource
that has received renewed domestic            •   Socioeconomic benefits. Development of oil shale resources could lead to
attention in recent years is oil shale.           the creation of jobs, increases in wealth, and increases in tax and royalty
Oil shale is a sedimentary rock that              payments to federal and state governments for oil produced on their lands.
contains solid organic material that can          The extent of these benefits, however, is unknown at this time because the
be converted into an oil-like product             ultimate size of the industry is uncertain.
when heated. About 72 percent of this
                                              In addition to these opportunities and the uncertainty of not yet having an
oil shale is located within the Green
                                              economical and environmentally viable commercial scale technology, the
River Formation in Colorado, Utah, and
Wyoming and lies beneath federal
                                              following challenges should also be considered:
lands managed by the Department of            •   Impacts on water, air, and wildlife. Developing oil shale and providing power
the Interior’s Bureau of Land                     for oil shale operations and other activities will require large amounts of water
Management, making the federal                    and could have significant impacts on the quality and quantity of surface and
government a key player in its potential          groundwater resources. In addition, construction and mining activities during
development. In addition, the                     development can temporarily degrade air quality in local areas. There can
Department of Energy (DOE),
                                                  also be long-term regional increases in air pollutants from oil shale
advances energy technology, including
                                                  processing and the generation of additional electricity to power oil shale
for oil shale, through its various offices,
national laboratories, and                        development operations. Oil shale operations will also require the clearing of
arrangements with universities.                   large surface areas of topsoil and vegetation which can affect wildlife habitat,
                                                  and the withdrawal of large quantities of surface water which could also
GAO’s testimony is based on its                   negatively impact aquatic life.
October 2010 report on the impacts of
oil shale development (GAO-11-35).            •   Socioeconomic impacts. Oil shale development can bring an influx of
This testimony summarizes the                     workers, who along with their families can put additional stress on local
opportunities and challenges of oil               infrastructure such as roads, housing, municipal water systems, and schools.
shale development identified in that              Development from expansion of extractive industries, such as oil shale or oil
report and the status of prior GAO                and gas, has typically followed a “boom and bust” cycle, making planning for
recommendations that Interior take                growth difficult for local governments. Moreover, traditional rural uses would
actions to better prepare for the                 be displaced by industrial uses and areas that rely on tourism and natural
possible future impacts of oil shale              resources would be negatively impacted.
development.
                                              GAO’s 2010 report found that federal research efforts on the impacts of oil shale
                                              development did not provide sufficient data for future monitoring and that there
                                              was a greater need for collaboration among key federal stakeholders to address
                                              water resources and research issues. Specifically, Interior and DOE officials
                                              generally have not shared information on their oil shale research efforts, and
                                              there was a need for the federal agencies to improve their collaboration and
                                              develop more comprehensive baseline information related to water resources in
View GAO-12-740T. For more information,       the region. GAO made three recommendations to Interior, which the department
contact Anu K. Mittal at (202) 512-3841 or    generally concurred with and has already begun to take actions to address.
mittala@gao.gov.



                                                                                       United States Government Accountability Office
Chairman Harris, Ranking Member Miller, and Members of the
Subcommittee:

I am pleased to be here today to participate in your hearing on the
challenges and opportunities related to the potential development of
unconventional oil and natural gas resources. As you know, fossil fuels
are important to both the global and U.S. economies, and among other
things, we rely on oil to fuel our transportation vehicles and on natural gas
to a significant extent to heat and power our homes, businesses, and
industries. For many years, the United States has relied heavily on
imported oil and, to a lesser extent, imported natural gas, with domestic
production largely limited to conventional oil and gas resources. However,
in recent years, improvements in technology have allowed oil and gas
operators to extract oil and natural gas from unconventional resources—
resources that cannot be produced, transported, or refined using
traditional techniques. Examples of unconventional resources include oil
shale (a sedimentary rock containing solid organic material that can be
converted into a petroleum-like oil when heated), shale oil and gas,
natural gas hydrates (crystalline solids consisting of water, methane, and
usually a small amount of other gases that form beneath permafrost and
on the ocean floor), and tar sands (a combination of clay, sand, water,
and bitumen, a heavy black viscous oil).

These unconventional oil and gas resources are expected to play a larger
role in helping the United States meet its future energy needs. In
recognition of this fact, the Departments of Energy and the Interior and
the Environmental Protection Agency released a memorandum on April
13, 2012, announcing a collaborative interagency effort on
unconventional oil and gas research. The memorandum states that the
agencies will develop a multi-agency program focused on the highest
priority challenges associated with safely and prudently developing
unconventional resources.

My statement today is focused on oil shale development and will highlight
several issues related to the opportunities and challenges related to oil
shale development that we identified in an October 2010 report
undertaken at the request of this committee. 1 In addition, I will highlight


1
 GAO currently has work ongoing on several topics related to other unconventional
energy resources, namely shale oil and gas and issues related to federal and state
agency regulation of unconventional resources.




Page 1                                                                      GAO-12-740T
             the key actions that federal agencies can take to proactively prepare for
             the potential development of a future oil shale industry. Our October 2010
             report was one of a series of reports that we have completed that
             examine the nexus between energy and water resources. 2 This 2010
             report contains a detailed explanation of the methods used to conduct our
             work, which we performed in accordance with generally accepted
             government auditing standards.


             One unconventional energy resource that has received renewed attention
Background   in recent years in the United States is oil shale. Historically, interest in oil
             shale development as a domestic energy source has waxed and waned
             since the early 1900s, as average crude oil prices have generally been
             lower than the threshold necessary to make oil shale development
             profitable over time. More recently, however, higher oil prices have
             renewed interest in developing oil shale. The federal government is in a
             unique position to influence the development of oil shale because nearly
             three-quarters of the oil shale within the Green River Formation lies
             beneath federal lands managed by the Department of the Interior’s
             (Interior) Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The Energy Policy Act of
             2005 directed Interior to lease its lands for oil shale research and
             development. In June 2005, BLM initiated a leasing program for research,
             development, and demonstration (RD&D) of oil shale recovery
             technologies. By early 2007, it had granted six small RD&D leases: five in
             the Piceance Basin of northwest Colorado and one in the Uintah Basin of
             northeast Utah. The leases are for a 10-year period, and if the
             technologies are proven commercially viable, the lessees can significantly
             expand the size of the leases for commercial production into adjacent
             areas known as preference right lease areas. The Energy Policy Act of
             2005 also directed Interior to develop a programmatic environmental
             impact statement (PEIS) for a commercial oil shale leasing program.
             During the drafting of the PEIS, however, BLM determined that, without
             proven commercial technologies, it could not adequately assess the
             environmental impacts of oil shale development and dropped from
             consideration the decision to offer additional specific parcels for lease.
             Instead, the PEIS analyzed making lands available for potential leasing


             2
               GAO, Energy-Water Nexus: A Better and Coordinated Understanding of Water
             Resources Could Help Mitigate the Impacts of Potential Oil Shale Development,
             GAO-11-35 (Washington, D.C.: Oct. 29, 2010). Also see related GAO products at the end
             of this statement.




             Page 2                                                                   GAO-12-740T
                      and allowing industry to express interest in lands to be leased.
                      Environmental groups then filed lawsuits, challenging various aspects of
                      the PEIS and the RD&D program. Since then, BLM has initiated another
                      round of oil shale RD&D leasing and the lawsuits were settled.

                      Stakeholders in the future development of oil shale are numerous and
                      include the federal government, state government agencies, the oil shale
                      industry, academic institutions, environmental groups, and private
                      citizens. Among federal agencies, BLM manages federal land and the oil
                      shale beneath it and develops regulations for its development. The United
                      States Geological Survey (USGS) describes the nature and extent of oil
                      shale deposits and collects and disseminates information on the nation’s
                      water resources, which are a significant consideration for oil shale
                      development in the West. The Department of Energy (DOE), advances
                      energy technologies, including oil shale technology, through its various
                      offices, national laboratories, and arrangements with universities. The
                      Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets standards for pollutants that
                      could be released by oil shale development and reviews environmental
                      impact statements, such as the PEIS. Also, Interior’s Bureau of
                      Reclamation (BOR) manages federally built water projects that store and
                      distribute water in 17 western states and provides this water to users,
                      including states where oil shale research, development, and
                      demonstration, is underway.


                      Our October 2010 report found that oil shale development presents
Opportunities         significant opportunities for the United States. Potential opportunities
Presented by Future   associated with oil shale development include increasing domestic oil
                      production and socioeconomic benefits.
Oil Shale
Development           •   Increasing domestic oil production. Being able to tap the vast amounts
                          of oil locked within U.S. oil shale formations could go a long way
                          toward satisfying the nation’s future oil demands. The Green River
                          Formation—an assemblage of over 1,000 feet of sedimentary rocks
                          that lie beneath parts of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming—contains the
                          world’s largest deposits of oil shale. USGS estimates that the Green
                          River Formation contains about 3 trillion barrels of oil, and about half
                          of this may be recoverable, depending on available technology and
                          economic conditions. The Rand Corporation, a nonprofit research
                          organization, estimates that 30 to 60 percent of the oil shale in the
                          Green River Formation can be recovered. At the midpoint of this
                          estimate, almost half of the 3 trillion barrels of oil would be
                          recoverable. This is an amount about equal to the entire world’s



                      Page 3                                                            GAO-12-740T
                                             proven oil reserves. The thickest and richest oil shale within the Green
                                             River Formation exists in the Piceance Basin of northwest Colorado
                                             and the Uintah Basin of northeast Utah. Figure 1 shows where these
                                             prospective oil shale resources are located in Colorado and Utah.


Figure 1. Location of Oil Shale Resources in Colorado and Utah




                                        Page 4                                                            GAO-12-740T
                       •   Socioeconomic benefits. Development of oil shale resources could
                           also yield important socioeconomic benefits, including the creation of
                           jobs, increases in wealth, and increases in tax and royalty payments
                           to federal and state governments for oil produced on their lands. Our
                           October 2010 report did not attempt to quantify these potential
                           socioeconomic benefits because of current uncertainty surrounding
                           the technologies that might be used to develop oil shale resources,
                           which would influence the ultimate size of a future oil shale industry.


                       Our October 2010 report also found, however, that there are a number of
Challenges Presented   key challenges associated with potential oil shale development in the
by Future Oil Shale    United States, including: (1) uncertainty about viable technologies, (2)
                       environmental impacts that affect water quantity and quality, air, and land,
Development            and (3) socioeconomic impacts.

                       •   Uncertainty about viable technologies. A significant challenge to the
                           development of oil shale lies in the uncertainty surrounding the
                           viability of current technologies to economically extract oil from oil
                           shale. To extract the oil, the rock needs to be heated to very high
                           temperatures—ranging from about 650 to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit—
                           in a process known as retorting. Retorting can be accomplished
                           primarily by two methods. One method involves mining the oil shale,
                           bringing it to the surface, and heating it in a vessel known as a retort.
                           Mining oil shale and retorting it has been demonstrated in the United
                           States and is currently done to a limited extent in Estonia, China, and
                           Brazil. However, a commercial mining operation with surface retorts
                           has never been developed in the United States because the oil it
                           produces competes directly with conventional crude oil, which
                           historically has been less expensive to produce. The other method,
                           known as an in-situ process, involves drilling holes into the oil shale,
                           inserting heaters to heat the rock, and then collecting the oil as it is
                           freed from the rock. Some in-situ technologies have been
                           demonstrated on very small scales, but other technologies have yet to
                           be proven, and none has been shown to be economically or
                           environmentally viable at a commercial scale. According to some
                           energy experts, the key to developing our country’s oil shale is the
                           development of an in-situ process because most of the richest oil
                           shale is buried beneath hundreds to thousands of feet of rock, making
                           mining difficult or impossible. In addition to these uncertainties,
                           transporting the oil produced from oil shale to refineries may pose
                           challenges because pipelines and major highways are not prolific in
                           the remote areas where the oil shale is located, and the large-scale



                       Page 5                                                            GAO-12-740T
    infrastructure that would be needed to supply power to heat the oil
    shale is lacking.

•   Environmental impacts on water, air, and wildlife. Developing oil shale
    resources poses significant environmental challenges, particularly for
    water quantity and quality but also for air and wildlife.

    •    Water quantity. Oil shale development could have significant
         impacts on the quantity of surface and groundwater resources, but
         the magnitude of these impacts is unknown because of the
         technological uncertainties, and also because the size of a future
         oil shale industry is unknown, and knowledge of current water
         conditions and groundwater flow is limited. Developing oil shale
         and providing power for oil shale operations and other associated
         activities will require significant amounts of water, which could
         pose problems, particularly in the arid West where an expanding
         population is already placing additional demands on available
         water resources. For example, some analysts project that large
         scale oil shale development within Colorado could require more
         water than is currently supplied to over 1 million residents of the
         Denver metro area and that water diverted for oil shale operations
         would restrict agricultural and urban development. The potential
         demand for water is further complicated by the past decade of
         drought in the West and projections of a warming climate in the
         future. Current estimates of the quantities of water needed to
         support a future oil shale industry vary significantly depending
         upon the assumptions that are made. However, as our 2010
         report noted, while water is likely to be available for the initial
         development of an oil shale industry, the eventual size of the
         industry may be limited by the availability of water and demands
         for water to meet other needs of the region. Oil shale companies
         operating in Colorado and Utah will need to have water rights to
         develop oil shale, and representatives from all of the companies
         with whom we spoke for our 2010 report were confident that they
         held at least enough water rights for their initial projects and will
         likely be able to purchase more rights in the future. Sources of
         water for oil shale will likely be surface water in the immediate
         area, such as the White River, but groundwater could also be
         used. However, as we reported in 2010, the possibility of
         competing municipal and industrial demands for future water, a
         warming climate, future needs under existing compacts, and
         additional water needs for the protection of threatened and
         endangered fishes, may eventually limit the size of a future oil
         shale industry.


Page 6                                                             GAO-12-740T
    •    Water quality. While the water quantity impacts from oil shale
         development are difficult to precisely quantify at this time,
         hydrologists and engineers have been able to more definitively
         determine the water quality impacts that are likely because other
         types of mining, construction, and oil and gas development cause
         disturbances similar to impacts expected from oil shale
         development. According to these experts, in the absence of
         effective mitigation measures, impacts from oil shale development
         to water resources could result from (1) disturbances to the
         ground surface during the construction of roads and production
         facilities, which could result in the degradation of surface water
         quality from the related runoff of sediment, salts, and possible
         chemicals to nearby rivers and streams, (2) the withdrawal of
         water from streams and aquifers for oil shale operations, which
         could decrease flows downstream and temporarily degrade
         downstream water quality by depositing sediment during
         decreased flows, (3) underground mining and extraction, which
         would permanently impact aquifers by affecting groundwater flows
         through these zones, and (4) the discharge of waste waters from
         oil shale operations, which could temporarily increase water flows
         into receiving streams, thereby altering water quality and water
         temperature.

    •    Air. Construction and mining activities during the development of
         oil shale resources can temporarily degrade air quality in local
         areas. There can also be long-term regional increases in air
         pollutants from oil shale processing and the generation of
         additional electricity to power oil shale development operations.
         Pollutants, such as dust, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide, can
         contribute to the formation of regional haze that can affect
         adjacent wilderness areas, national parks, and national
         monuments, which can have very strict air quality standards.
         Environmental impacts could also be compounded by the impacts
         of coal mining, construction, and extensive oil and gas
         development in the area, and air quality appears to be particularly
         susceptible to the cumulative effect of these development impacts.
         According to some environmental experts that we spoke to for our
         2010 report, air quality impacts may be the limiting factor for the
         development of a large oil shale industry in the future.

    •    Wildlife. Oil shale operations are likely to clear large surface areas
         of topsoil and vegetation, and as a result, some wildlife habitat will
         be lost. Important species likely to be negatively impacted from
         loss of wildlife habitat include mule deer, elk, sage grouse, and


Page 7                                                              GAO-12-740T
                                raptors. Noise from oil shale operations, access roads,
                                transmission lines, and pipelines can further disturb wildlife and
                                fragment their habitat. Wildlife is also particularly susceptible to
                                the cumulative effects of nearby industry development. In addition,
                                the withdrawal of large quantities of surface water for oil shale
                                operations could negatively impact aquatic life downstream of the
                                oil shale development.

                       •   Socioeconomic impacts. Large-scale oil shale development offers
                           certain socioeconomic benefits outlined earlier, but it also poses some
                           socioeconomic challenges. Oil shale development can bring a
                           sizeable influx of workers, who along with their families, put additional
                           stress on local infrastructure such as roads, housing, municipal water
                           systems, and schools. As noted in our 2010 report, development from
                           expansion of extractive industries, such as oil shale or oil and gas,
                           has typically followed a “boom and bust” cycle, making planning for
                           growth difficult for local governments. Furthermore, development of a
                           future oil shale industry would have the potential to replace traditional
                           rural uses by the industrial development of the landscape, and tourism
                           that relies on natural resources, such as hunting, fishing, and wildlife
                           viewing, could be negatively impacted.



                       Our 2010 report noted that current federal research efforts on the impacts
Federal Agencies Can   of oil shale development do not provide sufficient data for future
Proactively Take       monitoring and that there is a greater need for collaboration among key
                       stakeholders to address water resources and research issues related to
Actions to Prepare     oil shale development. As noted earlier, the federal government is in a
For Oil Shale          unique position to influence the development of oil shale because 72
                       percent of the oil shale within the Green River Formation lies beneath
Development            federal lands managed by BLM. In addition to its leasing of these lands,
                       Interior has sponsored oil shale projects related to water resources—to
                       develop a common repository of water data collected from the Piceance
                       Basin and to begin monitoring groundwater quality and quantity within this
                       basin using existing and future wells. The common repository project was
                       funded jointly with Colorado cities and counties as well as with oil shale
                       companies. DOE also plays an important role in developing these
                       resources and has sponsored most of the oil shale research that involves
                       water-related issues. DOE also provides technological and financial
                       support for oil shale development, through its research and development
                       efforts. However, our October 2010 report noted that Interior and DOE
                       officials generally have not shared information on oil shale research and
                       that there is a need for federal agencies to improve their efforts to


                       Page 8                                                            GAO-12-740T
collaborate and develop more comprehensive baseline information on the
current condition of groundwater and surface water in these areas. Such
information will be important for understanding the potential impacts of oil
shale development on water resources in the region.

To prepare for possible impacts from the potential future development of
oil shale, which industry experts believe is at least 15-20 years away, we
made three recommendations in our October 2010 report to the Secretary
of the Interior. We recommended that the Secretary direct BLM and
USGS to

•   establish comprehensive baseline conditions for groundwater and
    surface water quality, including their chemistry, and quantity in the
    Piceance and Uintah Basins to aid in the future monitoring of impacts
    from oil shale development in the Green River Formation;

•   model regional groundwater movement and the interaction between
    groundwater and surface water, in light of aquifer properties and the
    age of groundwater, so as to help in understanding the transport of
    possible contaminants derived from the development of oil shale; and

•   coordinate with DOE and state agencies with regulatory authority over
    water resources in implementing these recommendations, and to
    provide a mechanism for water-related research collaboration and
    sharing of results.

Interior fully supported the concepts in the report and agreed with the
need to answer the science questions associated with commercial oil
shale production prior to its development. In addition, Interior indicated
that it already had begun to take some actions in response to our
recommendations. For example, Interior told us that USGS is undertaking
an analysis of baseline water resources conditions to improve the
understanding of groundwater and surface water systems that could be
affected by commercial-scale oil shale development. In addition, Interior
stated that BLM and USGS are working to improve coordination with DOE
and state agencies with regulatory authority over water resources and
noted current ongoing efforts with state authorities.




Page 9                                                           GAO-12-740T
                    In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, while there are potential opportunities for
                    commercial development of large unconventional oil and gas resources,
                    such as oil shale, in the United States, these opportunities must be
                    balanced with other potential technological, environmental and
                    socioeconomic challenges. The recommendations in our October 2010
                    report on oil shale provide what we believe to be important next steps for
                    federal agencies involved in the development of oil shale, particularly as it
                    relates to water resources. By proactively improving collaboration
                    between departments and state agencies and developing key baseline
                    information the federal government can position itself to better monitor
                    water resources and other environmental impacts should a viable oil
                    shale industry develop in the future.

                    Chairman Harris, Ranking Member Miller, and Members of the
                    Subcommittee, this completes my prepared statement. I would be
                    pleased to respond to any questions that you may have at this time.


                    Contact points for our Offices of Congressional Relations and Public
Contact and Staff   Affairs may be found on the last page of this testimony. For further
Acknowledgments     information about this testimony, please contact Anu K. Mittal, Director,
                    Natural Resources and Environment team, (202) 512-3841 or
                    mittala@gao.gov. In addition to the individual named above, key
                    contributors to this testimony were Dan Haas (Assistant Director),
                    Alison O’Neill, Barbara Timmerman, and Lisa Vojta.




                    Page 10                                                           GAO-12-740T
Recent Related GAO Products
             Recent Related GAO Products




             Department of Energy: Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy
             Could Benefit from Information on Applicants’ Prior Funding
             (GAO-12-112, January 13, 2012).

             Energy Development and Water Use: Impacts of Potential Oil Shale
             Development on Water Resources (GAO-11-929T, August 24, 2011).

             Federal Oil and Gas: Interagency Committee Needs to Better Coordinate
             Research on Oil Pollution Prevention and Response (GAO-11-319,
             March 25, 2011).

             Oil and Gas Leasing: Past Work Identifies Numerous Challenges with
             Interior’s Oversight (GAO-11-487T, March 17, 2011).

             Oil and Gas Management: Key Elements to Consider for Providing
             Assurance of Effective Independent Oversight (GAO-10-852T,
             June 17, 2010).

             Federal Oil and Gas Management: Opportunities Exist to Improve
             Oversight (GAO-09-1014T, September 16, 2009).

             Oil and Gas Management: Federal Oil and Gas Resource Management
             and Revenue Collection In Need of Stronger Oversight and
             Comprehensive Reassessment (GAO-09-556T, April 2, 2009).

             Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management: Oil Shale
             Management—General (GAO-09-214R, December 2, 2008).

             Advanced Energy Technologies: Budget Trends and Challenges for
             DOE’s Energy R&D Program (GAO-08-556T, March 5, 2008).

             Department of Energy: Oil and Natural Gas Research and Development
             Activities (GAO-08-190R, November 6, 2007).

             Department of Energy: Key Challenges Remain for Developing and
             Deploying Advanced Energy Technologies to Meet Future Needs
             (GAO-07-106, December 20, 2006).




             Page 11                                                     GAO-12-740T
           Recent Related GAO Products




           Energy-Water Nexus report series
           Energy-Water Nexus: Information on the Quantity, Quality, and
           Management of Water Produced during Oil and Gas Production
           (GAO-12-156, January 9, 2012).

           Energy-Water Nexus: Amount of Energy Needed to Supply, Use, and
           Treat Water Is Location-Specific and Can Be Reduced by Certain
           Technologies and Approaches (GAO-11-225, March 23, 2011).

           Energy-Water Nexus: A Better and Coordinated Understanding of Water
           Resources Could Help Mitigate the Impacts of Potential Oil Shale
           Development (GAO-11-35, October 29, 2010).

           Energy-Water Nexus: Many Uncertainties Remain about National and
           Regional Effects of Increased Biofuel Production on Water Resources
           (GAO-10-116, November 30, 2009).

           Energy-Water Nexus: Improvements to Federal Water Use Data Would
           Increase Understanding of Trends in Power Plant Water Use
           (GAO-10-23, October 16, 2009).




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           Page 12                                                         GAO-12-740T
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                      E-mail: fraudnet@gao.gov
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                      Katherine Siggerud, Managing Director, siggerudk@gao.gov, (202) 512-
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                      Chuck Young, Managing Director, youngc1@gao.gov, (202) 512-4800
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