A Canadian company has received state approval to begin mining oil sands in Utah's Uintah basin on a 62-acre parcel, according to news reports. Environmentalists are raising concerns about water use and carbon dioxide production.
The Utah Geological Survey reports that "Utah’s tar sand deposits contain 14 to 15 billion barrels of measured oil in place, with an additional estimated resource of 23 to 28 billion barrels." The Utah resource is probably the largest in the U.S.
Given the extent of oil production in Canada's Athabasca tar sands, it seems like it was only a matter of time before the huge deposits in Utah would be targeted.