The administration of President Donald Trump aims to help the oil and gas industries by cutting the amount of time it takes the Department of the Interior to process requests from oil and gas companies to drill on federal land.
Data from the Bureau of Land Management, an agency within the DOI, shows that during the first 7 years of former President Barack Obama’s tenure, the waiting time fluctuated from a low of 71 days in 2011 to a high of 104 days in 2015.
In a statement published earlier this month by the DOI, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke made it clear that these lengthy wait times were unacceptable.
“Oil and gas production on federal lands is an important source of revenue and job growth in rural America but it is hard to envision increased investment on federal lands when a federal permit can take the better part of a year or more in some cases,” he said.
Part of the strategy for reducing the waiting times will reportedly involve simply resolving a backlog of requests that totaled 2,802 as of Jan. 31 but may have risen or fallen since then.
Speaking Monday with Politico, Zinke added that the goal is to reduce waiting times “down to 30 days and to make all the processes as short as possible, but at the same time, making sure our environmental stewardship is not breached, all of which is completely doable,” according to The Daily Caller.
Keep in mind that the time it takes the Department of Interior to process requests represents only half of the process. The remaining time — which reached a high of 236 days in 2011 — involves “oil companies addressing ‘deficiencies’ in their permit application — though the Trump administration could streamline this process as well,” as noted by The Daily Caller.
Granted, the Trump administration has already done plenty thus far, including leasing more land than the Obama administration had leased during its first six months in office; and also raising more revenue as well. And in April the president signed an executive order that reversed his predecessor’s ban on Arctic drilling.
“This is just good government and will further support the President’s goal of American energy dominance,” Zinke concluded in his statement earlier in the month.
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