During Wednesday’s fielding hearing led by Reps. Lamborn and Tipton, both the Congressmen and witnesses repeated century-old rhetoric in an effort to promote oil shale as a “environmentally responsible” energy option.

And while we managed to fill up our Bingo sheet, we hardly won anything – the hearing resulted in the same failed ideas on energy policy and a lack of leadership for real solutions to our growing energy problems.

Below is a recap of the day’s testimony:




Oil shale reserves are going to be a lifesaver. (10/11/56)

  • Gary Aho, Board Member of National Oil Shale Association: Developing oil shale in the western US would create tens of thousands of high paying jobs, reduce the nation’s dependency on foreign oil, improve the balance of trade, enhance national security, provide a stimulus to the economy, and generate tax revenues for all levels of government.

The U.S. could be producing oil shale in 10 to 15 years. (06/08/79)

  • Dan Whitney, Oil Development Manager for Shell Exploration and Production Company: The road to commercialization is likely to be measured in decades not years.

The American petroleum industry seems once again to be turning its attention to the development of shale oil resources… (08/09/80)

  • Anu Mittal, Director, Natural Resources and Environment Division of the Government of Accountability Office (GAO): The federal government as spent $22M on oil shale research.

…As foreign petroleum prices continue to rise and political situations create new doubts about the availability of Middle East oil. (08/09/80)

  • Michael Hagood, Director, Program and Regional Development for Idaho National Laboratory: In the meantime, the U.S. will need to pursue securing access to reliable supplies of energy and at the same time lessen its dependence on politically and economically unstable sources of oil imports.
  • Dan Whitney: Shell has pursued the technical and commercial development of the In situ Conversion Process (ICP) for oil shale since the early 1980s as a means to produce from oil shale.
  • Brad McCloud, Executive Director of Environmentally Conscious Consumers for Oil Shale: There is even more unrest in the Middle East

A committee hearing looking toward development of fuels from oil shale. (04/02/51)

  • Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Oversight Field Hearing on “American Jobs and Energy Security: Domestic Oil Shale the Status of Research, Regulation and Roadblocks.”

The shale covered a large area. (10/06/16)

  • Rep. Lamborn: “The United States is blessed with tremendous oil shale resources.”
  • Rep. Lamborn: “Nearly 75% of the world’s recoverable oil shale is estimated to be located in this country and we have appropriately been called the ‘Saudi Arabia of oil shale’.”
  • Rep. Lamborn: “Most of that shale is located right here around us, where according to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Western United States may hold more than 1.5 trillion barrels of oil.”

Thousands of acres of land rich with oil shale. (04/30/17)

  • Anu Mittal: The thickest and richest oil shale within the Green River Formation exists in the Piceance Basin of northwest Colorado and the Uintah Basin of northeast Utah.

Oil shale hailed as future source of oil. (09/26/23)

  • Michael Hagood: As world oil demand and prices continue to rise there will be increasing efforts to develop more of the unconventional fossil energy resources, such as oil shale.
  • Anu Mittal: As you know, being able to tap the vast amounts of oil locked within U.S. oil shale could go a long way toward satisfying our nation’s future oil demands.

Commercial oil shale development seems assured. (09/28/80)

  • Dan Whitney: Shell has often said, we intend to develop oil shale in a manner that is economically viable.

Shale oil will undoubtedly play an important role in meeting growing fuel demands. (10/31/53)

  • Dan Whitney: Properly developed, they could be a major component of US energy security.

Oil shale is believed to hold promise as a reserve supply of petroleum. (09/01/26)

  • Brad McCloud: The U.S. is sitting on a massive reserve of oil.
  • Rep. Lamborn: “Enough [oil shale] to provide the United States with energy for the next 200 years.”

A new era in oil production of the country. (10/06/16)

  • Brad McCloud: Companies like Shell, Chevron, American Shale Oil and Red Leaf Resources are continuing to develop exciting and new technologies that may lead to commercial viability and meet growing national and international energy needs.

Nearing a commercially feasible level. (04/02/51)

  • Thomas Sladek, Director of Ockham Energy Services: Enefit American Oil has acquired the Oil Shale Exploration Company project in Utah, which could, in time, produce 57,000 barrels of shale oil per day.

Scientists forecast that within three years they can demonstrate a practical method of oil shale operation. (10/18/46)

  • Michael Hagood: Realizing a sizeable oil shale industry can contribute significantly to U.S. energy security, but its establishment and impact could take several years.