Here are some of the other measures recently taken by the administration to boost domestic oil production, according to a recent White House factsheet:
* An increase in the sales of leases for oil and gas drilling on federal lands. In 2013, the Bureau of Land Management held 30 such sales — the most in a decade — offering 5.7 million acres for lease by industry.
* An increase in the speed with which permits are being issued for actual drilling on federal lands. What’s called “processing time” has, the White House boasts, been cut from 228 days in 2012 to 194 days in 2013.
* The opening up of an additional 59 million acres for oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, the site of a disastrous BP oil spill in April 2010.
In other words, global warming be damned!
In a turnaround that has gotten next to no attention and remarkably little criticism, President Obama is now making a legacy record for himself that will put the “permanent reduction of our dependence on oil” in its grave. His administration is instead on a drill-baby-drill course to increase production in every way imaginable on U.S. territory, including offshore areas that were long closed to drilling due to environmental concerns.
What explains this dramatic turnaround?