this is old news. but it still gets mishashed around. so i'm gonna go over it here. when is oil not oil? answer when it's shale oil. shale oil is a black rock, like coal. it's mined with shovels, like coal. it's shipped in dump trucks, like coal. it's burned in a furnace, like coal. for all practical purposes, it *is* coal. so why is it called shale *oil*? i have no idea. apparently the term has been around for 100 years. so it's not a new conspiracy aimed at cooking our books or misleading people. though it's really good at the latter. some folks are making political hay out of the claim that we have more oil than saudi arabia and only the government's job killing regulations stand in the way of that free energy. heh. we have more "oil" than saudi arabia. and in case the quotes are too subtle for you, we have more coal than saudi arabia has oil. we have more apples than they have oranges. get the pictures? good. and it's not even good coal. it's mostly rock. which doesn't burn very well at all. the laws standing in the way are economic and thermodynamic. politicians can repeal them if they want. but the market and the physics well just ignore puny hubris man.