Magazine
Synthetic Fuels Revisited, Part I

February 27, 1989

What does oil shale's past mean for its future?

Feature

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An oil shale project hangs on, but barely
Unocal did not leave with the rest of the shale crowd in 1982. But all isn't well with the nation's first and only commercial-scale oil shale plant.
Oil shale oozes legal decision and congressional debate
The West's immense deposits of oil shale are estimated to hold more than 1.8 trillion barrels of oil, but so far they have proven far more valuable to lawyers and land speculators than to oil men.

Perspective

The West is crippled by its resources
Writer Wallace Stegner has a rule of thumb: The more arid a state, the worse its congressional delegation. I have a corollary to that rule: The more a state is "blessed" with natural resources, tile worse off it will be economically, socially and politically.