This report covers the first phase of a program to develop an information system capable of describing and assessing the federal, state, and county permitting process for oil shale development. The program is an outgrowth of widespread confusion and dissatisfaction regarding the existing permitting process for oil shale. The problems posed by the present requirements were a main topic of concern at a recent meeting of the Rocky Mountain Oil and Gas Association (RMOGA). Mr. Jackson Gouraud, the Deputy Under Secretary for Commercialization, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), participated in the meeting as a specially invited guest. The RMOGA meeting served as a forum in which government and industry could enumerate and analyze the problems which have been instrumental in preventing oil shale from approaching its potential to alleviate our nation's energy problems. Mr. Gouraud and his associates within DOE recognized the possibility that prospects for commercialization of oil shale could be enhanced through improvements in the permitting process. Consequently, the Department of Energy, Division of Fossil Fuel Extraction (LETC), agreed to sponsor a Phase I study designed to (1) establish a manual permit information system applicable to every location in which oil shale development is likely to occur, and (2) demonstrate the potential benefits obtainable through system automation. Dr. Andrew Decora, Director of the Laramie Energy Technology Center, provided valuable guidance as technical project officer for the study. The program has also benefited from the continuing interest and encouragement of Mr. Richard H. Hertzberg, Director, Division of Fossil Fuel Extraction, DOE. Definition of the permitting system has required considerable research and analysis. Above all else, the program has required the cooperation and assistance of many people. The authors of this report have received valuable assistance and encouragement from over 200 people, all of whom are involved in a regulatory, advisory or developmental aspect of oil shale. Most of them have recognized the importance of this program, and have taken time to provide in-depth analyses of one or more significant elements of the pertinent regulations. Space limitations preclude the listing of these individual contributors and their special contributions. However, the authors would like to express gratitude to the following organizations whose representatives have been most helpful.