The Trump administration took major steps toward establishing “energy dominance” Thursday, ordering the resolution of more than 2,000 backlogged permit applications for oil drilling on federal land.
The permit application process became hamstrung under the Obama administration, resulting in extensive delays.
“There’s a reason why our energy revolution from 2008 forward has been primarily on private lands and state lands, and not federal lands,” said Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who ordered his agency to resolve the backlog.
“We have been particularly, I think, punitive in some ways,” he continued.
A reversal of these policies has been a priority of conservative lawmakers for nearly a decade, a priority which the current administration has emphasized.
“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,” said Zinke.
In addition to ordering the resolution of the agency backlog, Zinke has ordered the Bureau of Land Management to take no more than 30 days in deciding whether a permit will be granted, which brings the agency into compliance with existing law.
“This is just good government and will further support the president’s goal of American energy dominance,” Zinke added.
Under the “energy dominance” agenda, the Trump administration is looking at ways to meet U.S. energy needs, while also increasing U.S. energy expor
“An energy-dominant America means self-reliant. It means a secure nation, free from the geopolitical turmoil of other nations who seek to use energy as an economic weapon,” said Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.
“An energy-dominant America will export to markets around the world, increasing our global leadership and our influence,” Perry added.
Tim Boersma, a senior research fellow at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, said the attitude of the current administration marks a stark contrast from the tone set during the Obama era.
“Unlike the previous administration, this administration is much more comfortable in getting up on the stand and saying that, yes we are a big oil producer. Yes, we are a big gas producer, and we feel good about that,” he said.