WASHINGTON (AP) — The Bush administration wants to set the stage before leaving office for developing oil shale, rocky deposits in the Western U.S. that could eventually yield 800 billion barrels of oil, according to government estimates.

The Interior Department is scheduled to unveil proposed regulations today for a program to sell oil shale leases on federal lands, similar to the leases sold now for oil and natural gas both on and offshore.

The shale is concentrated in the Green River Basin of Colorado, Wyoming and Utah. Developing it has become a hot topic of debate between Democrats and Republicans in response to voter anger over $4-a-gallon gasoline prices this summer.