De-federalizing public lands is vital to a coherent energy strategy.
It will lead to greater energy independence, an issue that is critical to our national security.
And at a time when the rising cost of energy is devastating middle-class families, our leaders in Washington DC are making it more and more difficult to develop energy on public lands. Over the last two years, oil development on federal lands is down 13%, while natural gas development is down 10%. This is a direct result of President Obama's unwillingness to allow drilling on public lands.
I am the CEO of a company that works extensively with independent energy producers. I understand how difficult it is to get a drilling permit on federal lands. It is painfully slow, incoherently arbitrary, and always expensive. Worst of all, at the end of the process, an environmental finding is often thrown under the heavy hands of the courts.
But if we allow our states to have more control over this process, we can open up more of our lands to multiple uses. This will lead to significant increases in revenue to state coffers, most of which will be spent on education. More important, we will become more energy independent. And by increasing our supply of energy, we will drive the cost down.