The LA Times reports on news regarding shale oil development:
Salt Lake City – A titanic battle between the West’s two traditional power brokers – Big Oil and Big Water – has begun.
At stake is one of the largest oil reserves in the world, a vast cache trapped beneath the Rocky Mountains containing an estimated 800 billion barrels – about three times the reserves of Saudi Arabia.
Extracting oil from rocky seams of underground shale is not only expensive, but also requires massive amounts of water, a precious resource crucial to continued development in the nation’s fastest- growing region.
The conflict between oil and water interests has now come to a head. On Oct. 31, Congress allowed a moratorium on oil shale leasing to expire. That paved the way for the Bush administration to finalize leasing rules last month that opened 2 million acres of federal land to exploration.
Despite some claims in comments here, the science of shale oil extraction is very unclear.
Oil shale itself forms the bedrock of the aquifer system in the Colorado basin systems, so heating it up is sure to inject various poisons into the aquifers, and waste water has no where to go as demonstrated by the 9 mile long, 6 mile wide waste water lake at “reclamation” work in the Athabasca Oil sands area of north east Alberta, just outside Fort McMurray.
Update: And guess who gets some bailout money?