Oil produced from shales has been done for a long time. It is not only under the Rocky Mountains, but oil and gas is contained in shales over much of the US. A concerted effort to begin producing these shales began in the late 80's when other exploration (the easy oil has been found) began to decline.
This is not a hidden or secret discovery. Geologists, oil companies, the government, etc. have known it existed for years. There has been no attempt to "hide" anything, no conspiracy, nothing. (I realize the conspiracy theorists won't believe that statement, but it is true.)
Technology to produce oil from shales is still in it's infancy. It involves much more than simply drilling and completing a well to produce. The shale is tight and of low porosity (void space between the grains of shale) and permeability (ability for the oil to flow through the shale). For example, typical rock may have a permeability between, say, 1-1000, with 1000 being a very easy flow path. In contrast, shale may have a permeability of 0.01 to 0.00001, very resistant to flow.
Yes, there is much oil in shale in the US. How much will it ultimately cost to get it will depend on the success of upcoming technology to get it out. This I know, if it were easy we would already be doing it.
You may now return to your regularly scheduled opinions.