California has two-thirds of the shale oil reserves in the U.S.

The New York Times noticed the amount of shale reserves in California and wrote a major article:  Vast Oil Reserve May Now Be Within Reach, and Battle Heats Up.

The billion dollar question – do we in California have the wisdom to safely tap the economic growth, tens of thousands of jobs (if not a hundred thousand), and a couple billion of state tax revenue every year for the next couple of decades that shale oil could provide?

Two key comments from the article:

Comprising two-thirds of the United States’s total estimated shale oil reserves and covering 1,750 square miles from Southern to Central California, the Monterey Shale could turn California into the nation’s top oil-producing state and yield the kind of riches that far smaller shale oil deposits have showered on North Dakota and Texas.

How much potential is there?

Though production has been declining for years, California remains the country’s fourth-largest oil-producing state, after Texas, North Dakota and Alaska. So far, little of the crude is derived from the Monterey Shale, whose untapped deposits are estimated at 15.4 billion barrels, or more than four times the reserves of the Bakken Shale in North Dakota, according to the United States Energy Information Administration

I discussed this last November in my post, We don’t have to prosper, California edition.

Four times the oil in Bakken.  Cool.

The Times article also highlights that many environmental groups are quite concerned about fracking, even though the technique has been used in California for decades.

A major battle is in our future. What will we choose?

Via Meadia comments, in Brown vs. Green: Clash of the Titans in California:

The intrigues in this drama are many. Does California’s Democratic Party come down on the side of low income Californians, who desperately need the jobs and state services new oil extraction will fund? Or does it come down on the side of a green lobby that is heavily backed by some of the wealthiest people in the state? To what extent does the wealthy coastal elite control the future of the inland poor in California? Can the GOP use the issue as a wedge to rebuild its credibility in a state it once dominated? Will black gold bail out big blue California?

Bring lots of popcorn. This is going to be a terrific show.

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