Gas Pump Jive

The media herd and the political establishment have issued their unanimous verdict: gasoline is expensive because bad soccer moms have the liberty to drive their children around in SUVs they purchased from bad auto companies, who have the liberty to sell products consumers want, and because bad oil companies have the liberty to sell their product and earn a profit.As is often the case, the loudest voices in the media are lying.

The real culprits are in Congress. Their crime is preventing liberty from working. Senators and Representatives have deliberately caused the high gas price, while at the same time enriching potential Middle Eastern enemies and exporting tens of thousands of oil jobs.

There are several examples of malfeasance by Congress. Today we’ll deal with just one, oil shale policy, or Shale-gate.

oil_shale-600.jpgOil shale is sedimentary rock formed millions of years ago from silt and organic debris. It’s called “the rock that burns” because it usually contains enough oil to burn without additional fuel.

Extracting the oil in liquid form requires mining the shale/rock and then “retorting” or heating it to a high temperature. This process costs roughly $60 per barrel, or less than half the current global market price of crude oil. Researchers are developing a new extraction process called “situ retorting,” or heating the shale/rock while it is still underground and then pumping the liquid oil to the surface.

Oil Shale is found in many places around the world. But according to a government study, the largest deposits in the world, 1.2 to 1.8 trillion barrels, are found right here in America, in the Green River Formation, which covers portions of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.

Researchers estimate that 800 billion of those barrels are “recoverable” using currently available technology. According to the Government Office of Energy Statistics, American companies import about 5 Billion barrels of oil per year. Thus, if fully developed, domestic shale oil extraction could free America from dependence on oil imports for 160 years.

If we were to continue importing oil at the current rate from stable and friendly countries like Mexico, Canada and England, domestic shale oil could replace all the oil that comes from unstable, unfriendly nations for 244 years.

At the same time the global market price of oil would decline, reducing revenues to unfriendly Middle Eastern regimes, and substantially reducing the pump price of gasoline. Shale oil extraction would provide high paying jobs for tens of thousands of Americans.

So why aren’t the oil companies extracting oil from shale in Colorado instead of buying oil from corrupt dictators and Middle Eastern sheiks?

The answer is simple: For decades the US government has forbidden extraction of the shale oil in the Green River Formation. Period. It’s as simple as that.

Only last week, even as gasoline surged past $4.00 in most of the country, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to continue to forbid extraction from the Green River Formation.

If this makes no sense to you, if you want to do something about it, find your state’s two Senators on this list, click on the “web form” link, and let them know you’re watching. Tell them to permit the oil companies to invest in shale oil extraction. No taxpayer funding is necessary. The private sector is perfectly capable of providing millions of barrels of additional oil daily, as soon as the politicians get out of the way.

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4 Comments so far

  1. theclassiclib on May 30th, 2008

    It’s insane the amount of oil available for American companies to drill and supply our market. Off the coast of FL there’s at least as much (if not more) as in this shale. In American territory! Cuba is drilling and sucking away what should rightfully be ours. Congress has made it ILLEGAL for American companies to drill there.

    Congress just continues to prove they’re about only one thing – THEMSELVES! All they do is blow hot air and our money. Why people trust politicians I’ll never know.

  2. BIG OIL! « The Classic Lib on June 12th, 2008

    […] What about oil shale? According to government reports, the world’s largest deposits lie in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. “… if fully developed, domestic shale oil extraction could free America from dependence on oil imports for 160 years” (Liberty Works). […]

  3. BIG OIL! | on October 19th, 2008

    […] What about oil shale? According to government reports, the world’s largest deposits lie in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. “… if fully developed, domestic shale oil extraction could free America from dependence on oil imports for 160 years” (Liberty Works)! […]

  4. […] a lot of oil available  RIGHT NOW in America! Also, there currently isn’t a Magic Elixir that can create the energy our economy (and the rest of […]