Tapping California Shale Oil Could Add Millions Of Jobs

California’s Monterey shale, which holds an estimated 15 billion barrels of oil, has been touted as crucial to the state’s energy future and a boon to its economy. A study released Thursday tries to quantify the potential economic benefits.

The study by USC and the Communications Institute, a Los Angeles think tank, estimates that development of the 1,750-square-mile formation in central California could generate half a million new jobs by 2015 and 2.8 million by 2020.

Tapping the Monterey shale, which holds an estimated two-thirds of the country’s shale oil reserves, would probably require some combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, a practice opposed by many environmentalists worried about possible damage to land and water.

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