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We have enough OIL SHALE in the USA to keep us running for about the next 1,000 years. WHY aren't we using it?

(One of my co-workers asked this question in another section, and a responder suggested that it be posed to sections populated with environmentalists, and Democrats, respectively. He wanted to do that, but had reached his questioning limit for the day. So I'm doing it for him, which is fine with him. And I'm just as interested in the answers to this as he is!)

The bulk of the oil shale is in Colorado, and Big Oil said, back in the 1980s (when oil was around only $20 or so per barrel) that once the price reached $60 or so, it would be economical for us to start gleaning and refining it. So by NOW, we could be making ourselves TOTALLY independent of foreign oil. So NOW what is Bush's, and Big Oil's, excuse for not doing that?

I believe the amount that exists within retrievable areas is somewhere around 1.1 trillion barrels of oil, which is not quite enough for 1,000 years. If we keep consumption at current rates, it would last a little over 110 years, which is plenty of time for us to transition to a better source of energy.

We are expanding production to the Oil Shales, unfortunately the only methods available right now to get the Oil Shales, is a process developed by an oil company that involved heating the oil shales to a high temperature for extended periods of time, slowly the oil shales turn into thick poor grade crude oil, which is then extracted and must undergo expensive Oil Refining.

Another method for retrieving the oil in Oil Shales involves Strip mining the Oil shales, and extracting the oil from it, unfortunately strip mining is incredibly inefficient, pollutes like crazy, and is incredibly hazardous to the environment.

A commonly discussed problem with Oil Shale Mining is the tremendous need for energy to turn the Oil Shales into Oil. For a large scale Oil Shale operation in the west a power plant larger then the largest power plant in Colorado would have to be built. Because it requires so much energy even the most efficient power plant based off an expensive use of Natural Gas, would yield a energy return of 1:4. However, the more likely option uses the much cheaper more abundant resource of coal, which pollutes tremendously. Using this method, the energy taken from the Oil would yield about 2x more then the energy needed to get it. for a ration of 1:2. This would still yield a profit.

Finally, the good news, estimates place the beginning of large scale Oil Shale production to start around 2012, because we have to find less polluting methods for retrieving it, until then we will have to put up with $90-100 per barrel of oil, and $3-$4 per gallon of gasoline.

I hope this answers your questions!

Find Scale Oil On eBay Below:

TRUCK oil gas water Tanker N Scale Vehicles YELLOW
TRUCK oil gas water Tanker N Scale Vehicles YELLOW
$10.00
N Scale LARGE OIL TANK Kit Model Power New Sealed 1567
N Scale LARGE OIL TANK Kit Model Power New Sealed 1567
$27.74
Bachmann N Scale Silver Series Transcontinental Oil Tanker Car
Bachmann N Scale Silver Series Transcontinental Oil Tanker Car
$6.99
Slick Liquid Lube Bearings 100 Synthetic Oil For N Scale Kadee PLEASE READ NEW
Slick Liquid Lube Bearings 100 Synthetic Oil For N Scale Kadee PLEASE READ NEW
$10.95
BEST Synthetic Oil For N Scale Minitrix Trains READ Slick Liquid Lube Bearings
BEST Synthetic Oil For N Scale Minitrix Trains READ Slick Liquid Lube Bearings
$10.95
BEST Synthetic Train Oil for N scale Bachmann Slick Liquid Lube Bearings New
BEST Synthetic Train Oil for N scale Bachmann Slick Liquid Lube Bearings New
$10.95
Model Power N Scale SD Tank Car Shell Oil IOB
Model Power N Scale SD Tank Car Shell Oil IOB
$7.49
RARE N SCALE HUMBLE OIL IH R 190 TRACTOR AND A 32 FOOT AEROVAN TRAILER
RARE N SCALE HUMBLE OIL IH R 190 TRACTOR AND A 32 FOOT AEROVAN TRAILER
$19.75
Shell Oil company SCCX 1105 tank car Yugoslavia N scale MRC
Shell Oil company SCCX 1105 tank car Yugoslavia N scale MRC
$7.49
N Scale BUILT Model Piko No 60020 ONE PAIR LARGE FUEL OIL STORAGE TANKS w Fig
N Scale BUILT Model Piko No 60020 ONE PAIR LARGE FUEL OIL STORAGE TANKS w Fig
$14.35
N Scale BUILT Model Faller No 2131 ONE PAIR ESSO GAS OIL STORAGE TANKS w BERM
N Scale BUILT Model Faller No 2131 ONE PAIR ESSO GAS OIL STORAGE TANKS w BERM
$14.23
N Scale BUILT Model ONE PAIR 2 HORIZONTAL GAS FUEL OIL STORAGE TANKS Painted
N Scale BUILT Model ONE PAIR 2 HORIZONTAL GAS FUEL OIL STORAGE TANKS Painted
$5.25
PD Marsh N Gauge n Scale M45 Recovered chemical and oil storage tanks kit
PD Marsh N Gauge n Scale M45 Recovered chemical and oil storage tanks kit
$19.30
BANDAI N scale 1 150 Oil Tanker  for diorama model railway setting
BANDAI N scale 1 150 Oil Tanker for diorama model railway setting
$14.01
Micro Trains N Scale 39 Single Dome Tank Car Shell Oil SCCX 65520 1763
Micro Trains N Scale 39 Single Dome Tank Car Shell Oil SCCX 65520 1763
$10.50
Lot of 3 N Scale Oil Tanker Cars
Lot of 3 N Scale Oil Tanker Cars
$24.99
N Scale Gulf Oil Truck
N Scale Gulf Oil Truck
$9.99
AHM N Scale 4344 Tank Car Gulf Oil Corporation
AHM N Scale 4344 Tank Car Gulf Oil Corporation
$31.95
MTL 65090 SHELL OIL CO 39 Tank Car 1103 NEW N SCALE
MTL 65090 SHELL OIL CO 39 Tank Car 1103 NEW N SCALE
$34.95
MTL 65120 MOBIL OIL 39 Tank Car 11129 1st Run single NEW N SCALE
MTL 65120 MOBIL OIL 39 Tank Car 11129 1st Run single NEW N SCALE
$29.95
MTL 65480 TIDE WATER OIL CO 39 Single Dome Tanker 1383 NEW N SCALE
MTL 65480 TIDE WATER OIL CO 39 Single Dome Tanker 1383 NEW N SCALE
$29.95
N Scale Model Power 83456 TCX Texaco Oil Co 40 Chemical Tank Car 6305
N Scale Model Power 83456 TCX Texaco Oil Co 40 Chemical Tank Car 6305
$4.97
N Scale Bachmann 70184 SCCX Shell 40 3 Dome Gas  Oil Tank Car 1245 RTR Model
N Scale Bachmann 70184 SCCX Shell 40 3 Dome Gas Oil Tank Car 1245 RTR Model
$4.97
N Scale Hudsons Bay Oil  Gas UTLX 77976 Triple Dome Oil Tanker Freight Train
N Scale Hudsons Bay Oil Gas UTLX 77976 Triple Dome Oil Tanker Freight Train
$10.95
Kit 10 Oil drums N Scale 1148 UNPAINTED Metal Model kit A55 Langley Models
Kit 10 Oil drums N Scale 1148 UNPAINTED Metal Model kit A55 Langley Models
$12.48
Blair Line No 041 N Scale OIL AUTOMOTIVE SIGNS New Mint In Bag
Blair Line No 041 N Scale OIL AUTOMOTIVE SIGNS New Mint In Bag
$6.00
Bachmann 56 1212 N scale Blinking Oil Tank
Bachmann 56 1212 N scale Blinking Oil Tank
$20.00
FOUR SHELL OIL TANKS VGC KBRI N GAUGE SCALE
FOUR SHELL OIL TANKS VGC KBRI N GAUGE SCALE
$12.89
ESSO OIL TANK AND FUELING STAND KIBRI  N GAUGE SCALE
ESSO OIL TANK AND FUELING STAND KIBRI N GAUGE SCALE
$9.02
Bachmann N Scale Train Three Dome Tank Car Transcontenental Oil 17154
Bachmann N Scale Train Three Dome Tank Car Transcontenental Oil 17154
$21.83
Bachmann N Scale Train Tank Car Spartan Oil 8757 17862
Bachmann N Scale Train Tank Car Spartan Oil 8757 17862
$20.33
N SCALE MICRO TRAIN CAR DECORATED SHELL OIL COMPANY
N SCALE MICRO TRAIN CAR DECORATED SHELL OIL COMPANY
$8.95
N Scale Shell Oil Corporation SCCX 1245 Triple Dome Freight Train Car
N Scale Shell Oil Corporation SCCX 1245 Triple Dome Freight Train Car
$10.95
N Scale InterMountain Champion Oils Sterling Fuels 66329 04 Riveted Tank Car
N Scale InterMountain Champion Oils Sterling Fuels 66329 04 Riveted Tank Car
$23.49
NH005 DAVES DECALS 1 2 Set N SCALE VINTAGE GAS OIL GARAGE SERVICE STATION TIRES
NH005 DAVES DECALS 1 2 Set N SCALE VINTAGE GAS OIL GARAGE SERVICE STATION TIRES
$4.24
N Scale Bachmann Shell Oil Billboard 3 Dome Tank Car 1105 X156
N Scale Bachmann Shell Oil Billboard 3 Dome Tank Car 1105 X156
$14.99
3219 Walthers Cornerstone North Island Oil Refinery Kit N scale
3219 Walthers Cornerstone North Island Oil Refinery Kit N scale
$29.49
TOMIX N scale UR 9A 1000 container Nippon Oil Transport Sky Blue 3 pieces 3159
TOMIX N scale UR 9A 1000 container Nippon Oil Transport Sky Blue 3 pieces 3159
$21.60
N SCALE TRAINS MODEL POWER HUDSONS BAY OIL  GAS 3 DOME TANKER CAR
N SCALE TRAINS MODEL POWER HUDSONS BAY OIL GAS 3 DOME TANKER CAR
$10.99
N SCALE WALTHERS CORNERSTONE OIL PUMP
N SCALE WALTHERS CORNERSTONE OIL PUMP
$28.73


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