Shale Oil To Be Developed, But Not Here

We’ve written about the fact that the United States has by far the largest known oil shale deposits in the world. In fact our Rocky Mountain oil shale is believed to amount to as much as two trillion barrels, far more than the entire world has consumed since oil was discovered in Pennsylvania in the 19th century. This chart, from the Institute for Energy Research, shows how our oil shale reserves dwarf the petroleum controlled by other countries:

ShaleOilChart32.jpg

Unfortunately, the Democrats have been able to place these vast reserves off-limits. Now, one country has announced plans to develop its shale oil resources, but it isn’t the United States, it’s Jordan:

Energy-poor Jordan said on Sunday it was in talks with Anglo-Dutch group Royal Dutch Shell on an agreement to extract oil from the desert kingdom’s 40-billion-tonne oil shale reserves.

“Negotiations with Shell to sign a deal to process oil shale in Jordan are nearing an end,” said Maher Hjazin, head of the state-run Natural Resources Authority. “If our plans succeed, it would be one of the country’s largest projects to help the Jordan become energy self-sufficient, with a possibility to export oil in the future.” …

JEA president Wael Saqqa said exploiting the 40-billion-tonne oil shale reserves in 26 areas of Jordan “would provide the kingdom with oil for the coming 700 years.”

Under the leadership of the Democratic Party, the United States continues to be the only country in the world that is deliberately devastating its own economy by refusing to develop its energy resources.

UPDATE: A commenter at the Forum points out that I used the term “reserves” incorrectly. Oil in the ground is not counted toward “reserves” unless it is 1) evaluated as profitably recoverable under current economic conditions, and 2) accessible under current regulatory schemes. Our oil shale is “oil in the ground,” since the Democrats have blocked it from development. This is a key point: you often hear liberals say that the United States only has 3% of the world’s petroleum reserves, therefore it is hopeless to try to develop our own resources. That is, obviously, a non sequitur at best, but it is doubly deceptive given that the only reason our “reserves” are so low is that the Democrats have placed the vast majority of our oil resources off limits through regulation and legislation.

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