The difficulty in praising this development is that the federal government's own research shows that hydrocarbon projects are more bountiful sources of employment and economic growth. The Department of the Interior touts the 1.5M jobs and $275B in GDP from oil, gas, and mining leases in federally-owned land. That's a hefty chunk of change, so you'd think an argument for speedier permitting on such projects would find an audience more easily than arguments for permitting of renewable energy projects. Well, think again. DOI is moving cautiously on offshore drilling leases by not including new regions in its regulatory regime.
I believe federal regulation of energy production should be as agnostic toward sources as technology, geology, and geography will allow. That means regulatory decisions should be in the hands of scientists and engineers. This is always too much to ask but I'll ask for it anyway. I wonder about the cost-benefit analysis behind Uncle Sam's energy permitting process, and whether the benefit is colored by political pressure.