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The drilling dodge

| Sunday, July 13, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

While the Obama administration dithers with green energy fantasies, it's sitting on 3,500 applications for oil and natural gas drilling on federal lands, according to a report by the Interior Department's inspector general.

Although the report points no finger of blame, the IG notes “inefficiencies” by the feds have led to long review times that aren't bound by time limits — meaning oil and gas permits can be delayed indefinitely, The Daily Caller reports. Subsequently, some proposed wells never are drilled.

“This adversely affects developing the nation's domestic energy resources,” the IG says.

Among issues is why it takes the feds 7 12 months, on average, to approve permits, which states typically approve in 80 or fewer days. (Texas reportedly takes only about five days).

Is this deliberate foot-dragging? The Obama administration's own data show that coal, gas and oil production on federal lands has dropped 15.5 percent since 2009.

“Since President Obama took office, gasoline prices have doubled and our federal energy resources have been put under tight lock and key,” says Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee.

And all the while Team Obama pushes pie-in-the-sky alternative energy programs and squanders billions of dollars on crony projects that are guaranteed to fail.

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