What I'd like to see additionally along these lines is the establishment of a good number of coal-oil facilities. Easy to build, easy to operate and comparatively inexpensive, technology well-known, and produce a nice clean product that's almost #2. Absolutely feasible (if built on/near existing pipe) w/crude at or above $26-27. Less than that, really, if one amortises the start-up cost over, say, 25 years.
Further, coal oil (if we would push it) would have the huge advantage of almost immediately reducing the amount of NG being burnt just to heat. NG should be feedstock, not fuel; it's much more valuable in that role.
Obviously, I only skimmed when I should have read carefully.
The technique described leaves a lot of material that could be likened to heavy oil in the ground as it pulls out the lighter factions.
I'd like to see this work, but I'll believe the 3.5:1 when I see it. I guess I've been reading too much EnergyResources on yahoo.
For the person who suggested nuclear, you might want to consider the eastern shales. There's plenty of water for both cooling and processing in the east, and there's a potential deposit in Tennessee (I believe), that will also yield uranium. In addition, the eastern shales are supposed to plump up much more with the hydrogen addition than are western shales.
I will be interesting to see how this plays out this time around.