Reporting from Washington and Denver -- The Interior Department on Wednesday blocked a Bush administration plan to open parts of the Mountain West for oil shale development, announcing that it would first study the water, power and land-use issues that complicate one of the nation's most abundant but controversial untapped sources of energy.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar canceled shale development leases on federal land in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming and launched a second round of leases in the region limited to research purposes. In doing so, he rebuked what he called former President George W. Bush's "headlong rush" to begin development.
"Those who have fantasized that oil shale is a panacea for America's energy needs have been living in a fantasy land," he said.
The move marked the third time in a month that the Obama administration has frozen late-term Bush decisions that sought to spur domestic energy development over objections from ...