It's a new year, so all of the Shmucks from 2008 -- well their transgressions are just raging, unclaimed water under the bridge. But a new year means new Shmucks! And the first is making a claim for some of that raging water.
Earlier this week, Shell Oil filed for "the first major water right on the Yampa River -- the last river basin in the state with unappropriated water," according to a story in the Denver Post. The Yampa runs for 250 miles through northwestern Colorado.
Shell plans to slurp up 8 percent of the spring flow and pump it into a reservoir; it would use the water to help with its plans to convert shale on the Western Slope into oil -- a controversial practice that has energy companies falling all over themselves to line up for. Colorado already has water problems as cities, agriculture and other states all compete for it -- not to mention the fish who swim in it and the kayakers to paddle it.
So get to it, Shell! More oil, less water.
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For previous Shmucks, see our Shmuck of the Week archive.