The Department of the Interior admitted to Congress on Thursday morning that it could process oil and natural gas drilling applications more efficiently than it does right now during a hearing on the administration’s management of federal property.
The Obama administration’s recently released five-year plan for offshore drilling leases has been met with sharp criticism from the oil and gas industry and Republicans, who say it continues a crippling moratorium on potential energy reserves on the West and East Coasts.
The Obama administration is taking an undeserved victory lap for increased U.S. production of oil, Republicans and proponents of expanded oil production say. The administration’s latest attempt to claim it is expanding oil production came from the Department of Interior. The agency recently announced a new program to streamline and automate permit applications for oil and gas drilling.
President Obama has said he wants to encourage more oil production in the United States, but his administration’s own policy statements appear to contradict that claim.