On Septemeber 4 the Associated Press reported the following:
WASHINGTON – The United States has an oil reserve at least three times that of Saudi Arabia locked in oil shale deposits beneath federal land in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, according to a study released this past week.
But the researchers at the RAND think tank caution the federal government to go carefully, balancing the environmental and economic impacts with development pressure to prevent an oil shale bust later.
“We’ve got more oil in this very compact area than the entire Middle East,” said James Bartis, RAND senior policy researcher and the report’s lead author. However, he added, “If we go faster, there’s a good chance we’re going to end up at a dead end. You could end up bogged down.”
For years, the industry and the government considered oil shale – a rock that produces petroleum when heated – too expensive to be a feasible source of oil.
However, oil prices, which spiked above $70 a barrel last week, combined with advances in technology could soon make it possible to tap the estimated 500 billion to 1.1 trillion recoverable barrels, the report found.
That could meet a quarter of the nation’s current oil needs for the next 400 years.
You’d think someone would be following up on this.