""Last year, America produced more oil than at any time since 2003," Salazar told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee yesterday. (See the full text of his opening comments here.) "The Department continues to facilitate domestic production by issuing permits."
One of the problems, Salazar suggested, is that companies simply aren't moving forward on properties they've already leased. Drawing on a report his agency released a few weeks ago, Salazar noted that more than two-thirds of the offshore acres under lease are inactive, and production has yet to occur on more than half the leases on federal lands. [...]The notion that a ramp-up of oil permits today will do anything to ease the average American's pain at the pump in three months, or even three years, is more than slightly delusional. But perhaps Salazar is the delusional one to think the public, or lawmakers, care about the facts of actual domestic production."