Federal Drilling Permits Dropping

Mitt Romney accused President Obama of cutting permits to oil and gas on federal land.

The facts bear Romney out.

CNN reported, referring to an Institute for Energy Research report, that federal licenses have indeed dropped by about half:

During the last three fiscal years totally under Bush, there were 9,661 "new leases" granted for federal lands. For the three most recent fiscal years (which includes a few months of Bush's administration), there were 5,568 such new leases. This works out to a 42.4% decrease.

Take the same comparable periods for drilling permits on federal lands. There were 20,479 for the last three years under Bush, then 12,821 for the most recent three including much of Obama's first term. This is a 37.4% decrease.