We are lucky to be swimming in coal. What Saudi Arabia is to oil we are to coal and it can be turned into syn oil. That being said turning coal into oil is not ideal, dirty, and we still need to watch our resource consumption including coal.
Who are we saving it for China ?They will drill every drop,world wide,they can get their hands on. Right now they are drilling off the coast of Cuba into our coastal oil reserves that we are not allowed to drill Which proves that if we don't drill it someone else will .
World estimates of available oil is about thirty five million barrels a day short term and that tops whatevery we could use in over a fifty years and more is being discovered. The oil now being discovered is more difficult to extract but the extration technology will improve .
We need to accelerate research into alternate real energy sources.Nuclear power is the only feasible source of cheap and clean electric power followed by solar/liquid metal heat exchangers in southwestern US deserts.
Solar electric panels are far too expensive and are only usefull as battery charges on some low power applications .Solar electric panels are in reality the worlds most expensive battery changers and I have used them on many remote,low power,engineering projects !
The US produces about 5 million barrels of crude a day, and imports about 12 million... Some day we will be using super cooled liquid Hydrogen to putter around in our anti-gravity pods but that will be after we are all long gone. !
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The problem has been solved.
The reason you probably haven't heard about the Green River Formation is that most of the methods tried for turning oil shale into oil have been deeply flawed - economically, environmentally or usually both. Because there have been so many false starts, oil shale tends to get lumped with cold fusion, zero-point energy, and other "miracle" fuels perpetually just over the horizon.
"A lot of other companies have bent their spears trying to do what we're now doing," Vinegar says of his 28-year quest to turn oil shale into a commercial energy source. "We're talking about the Holy Grail."
Unlike the Grail, though, Shell is convinced that oil shale is no myth and that after years of secret research, it is close to achieving this oil-based alchemy. Shell is not alone in this assessment. "Harold has broken the code," says oil shale expert Anton Dammer, director of the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Naval Petroleum and Oil Shale Reserves.
Vinegar has developed a cutting-edge technology that, according to Shell, will produce large quantities of high-quality oil without ravaging the local environment - and be profitable with prices around $30 a barrel. Now that oil is approaching $90, the odds on Shell's speculative bet are beginning to look awfully good.
Shell declines to get too specific about how much oil it thinks it can pump at peak production levels, but one DOE study contends that the region can sustain two million barrels a day by 2020 and three million by 2040. Other government estimates have posited an upper range of five million. At that level, Western oil shale would rival the largest oilfields in the world.
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