Of course it is not a new discovery, the western Indian kept warm by burning rocks long before the white man set foot in the Americas. In parts of Colorado there may be as much as a billion barrels of oil per square mile; the state has the largest fossil fuel deposits in the entire world and sufficient supply to satisfy demand for 200-300 years at present rates of consumption. Previous attempts over the last century to extract the oil have not resulted in profitable operations due to the low price of well oil and the usual ineptness of the Carter administration (Synfuel Corp). Additionally, a means to prevent environmental damage by the extraction process was not available. To encourage investment and production of extracted shale oil it is necessary for the investor to be reasonably sure that the price of well oil remains above $30.00 and the extraction process incurs minimal environmental damage. In the past the Saudis merely opened or closed the taps to maintain the price of oil at whatever level they chose. The explosive expansion of the economies of India and China will surely keep the price per barrel of oil above $30.00, investment in the production of shale oil is certain. Shell Oil Corp. has apparently resolved the economic and environmental issues and may soon (2009) move from pilot operations to full production. The US is assured of ample energy for years to come. In fact the entire world is assured of an ample supply as the US has only about 1/3 of known shale oil reserves. I am strongly against using shale oil to solve our energy needs in the long term although I am not against its use in the short term. While some recent studies show human influence on global warming may not be as great as previously thought and that global warming may marginally benefit the US, I believe smokestack industry and distillate powered transportation should eventually (quickly) go the way of the horse drawn carriage. There are many non-fossil fuel sources of energy available to us. Of all the sources, only wind farms and nuclear power can provide more than a small fraction of our energy requirements. Wind farms apparently can provide as much as 30% of our needs if fully exploited. That leaves only nuclear power to provide for the rest of our needs, fission now, hopefully fusion later (ITER). Nuclear and wind power can generate hydrogen in an environmentally friendly manner and allow me to drive from point A to point B with only water dripping from my tail pipe. The environmentalists have a choice; chose the least damaging energy source or chose to impede the construction of nuclear power plants and complain about birds flying into windmills. Some info taken from: http://www.thedesertsun.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050901/COLUMNS03/509010309/1081/business .