This is a very good write up on the potential for oil shale to address our energy needs. In a nutshell, oil shale contains something called solid Kerogen. Solid Kerogen contains the solar energy collected by life over millions of years.
By heating up solid Kerogen, you cause a process called pyrolysis to take place. Pyrolysis coverts solid Kerogen to Kerogen gas. Pyrolysis is also the process by which wood burns. The fire heats the wood up to the point where pyrolysis converts the wood into a combustable gas. It is the gas that burns.
There is enough energy in oil shale to provide our liquid fuel for 300 years at $25/barrel, according to the government link.
If you listen to Rush Limbaugh he is very pro-oil companies. He also makes $50 million dollars a year. I find it hard to believe that he makes $50 million a year selling select-comfort mattresses and Nevada incorporation paperwork.
The picture is of Shell’s experimental oil shale facility in Colorado. If it were to be successful, it would solve the peak oil problem and drop oil prices by half.