The United States is home to massive oil shale reserves. Over 1.5 billion barrels are located in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, alone. By comparison, the World contains between 1.18 and 1.34 barrels of proven crude oil reserves. World oil shale reserves likely exceed 10 trillion barrels.
World energy usage is on a steep upward trajectory – even in the current "Great Recession." We have made major progress in developing renewable energy sources, including concentrated solar, photovoltaic solar, wind, geothermal, and tidal technologies. The proportion of renewable will increase substantially over the coming years. Yet, even under optimistic projections, renewables will still only constitute a tiny fraction of the World’s energy use in the coming decades. In addition, unless we convert a large proportion of our vehicles to operate on electricity, renewables will do nothing to reduce our dependence on oil. The fact is the World will rely on fossil fuels for a long time to come.
Therefore, it is vital that the United States examine every possible domestic energy resource in order to preserve our economic strength and national security.
The U.S. cannot ignore oil shale any longer. A vibrant domestic oil shale industry would:
- Reduce our vulnerability to energy shocks caused by supply disruptions, political unrest, and natural disasters.
- Provide our military with a reliable source of fuel.
- Reduce our trade deficits, protect the value of the dollar, and reduce the amount of wealth that leaves our shores.
- Offer a bridge to future energy technologies, such as hydrogen, nuclear fusion, and renewables.
However, we should not produce the resource if the environmental costs are too high. As with every energy resource, including renewable sources, there are costs, benefits, and trade-offs. We hope to provide you with information in this website to give you the tools to make an educated analysis of the trade-offs and come to your own conclusions.