As we survey the future, it is important to be aware of the economic, political and environmental impact of potential shale oil production on federal lands in the US. This is a real game changer because there is an estimated 800 billion barrels of recoverable shale oil on federal lands in the Green River formation. That is triple the reserves in Saudi Arabia. The math is such that over the years royalties from federal owned land could pay off the national debt without raising taxes, while also reducing costs associated with protecting strategic oil interests.
As you look back through history, technological innovation is spurred by the “recession-trigger effect”. The interludes between waves of technological innovation–the industrial revolution (1780-1840), the technical revolution (1880-1920), the scientific-technical revolution (1940-1970) and the information/telecommunications revolution (1985-2000) — are characterized by economic crisis and stagnation, which in turn triggers demand for new inventions and innovations.
So while our attention is riveted on the debate about whether to raise taxes or cut spending, the intractable nature of our economic situation will trigger a serious debate about shale oil production. It’s inevitable.
Here are some recent posts from Fuller Money on the subject: –>click here