The US has oil deposits and relatively good sized ones at that. However.. the shale some of these deposits reside in are difficult to get at. One mean to get the oil from the rock is a method called hydrofracking.
Great, right? I mean.. we now have the technology to tap reserves previously beyond our grasp..
Sure it is lovely.. if you like being able to light your tap water on fire. They are tapping in very rural areas, and while the "land owners" may not want these companies doing this.. on their land.. they do not own the mineral rights. So they own the surface of the land, but what's underneath is fair game.
When you mess around like this.. a rural area is the ideal playground. If you are going to completely destroy the ground water in an area.. it is better to pay off a few families than a city of lawsuits. Who listens to or cares about the farmer on a couple thousand acres of scrub in Montana anyways?
When they talk about peak oil, they are talking about the "easy to get" deposits. After that it moves into more complicated means to be able to tap it.. as in bigger bucks, bigger risks.
You can't strip mine that much of anything and not cause massive ecological damage.
Meanwhile in band camp.. or rather at the U of I... they are figuring out means to be able to derive crude oil from crap. Yep.. your poop today will be someone's petrol tomorrow.
At least that has some potential.. how much depends on how efficiently they can accomplish this feat. It would be a means of tackling the CAFO outputs, municipal additions, etc. with a hefty left over of nutrient laden material that is able to be used as plant fertilizer.
And... here's one for the good guys... Go Hungary!!! They discovered and destroyed fields of GMO crops.