Another uninformed comment by Obama from WSJ:
"I want you to think about this," Barack Obama said in Las Vegas last week. "The oil companies have already been given 68 million acres of federal land, both onshore and offshore, to drill. They're allowed to drill it, and yet they haven't touched it – 68 million acres that have the potential to nearly double America's total oil production."
Perhaps because the notion is obviously false – at least to anyone who knows how oil and gas exploration actually works.
In other words, these whiz kids assume that every acre of every lease holds the same amount of oil and gas. Yet the existence of a lease does not guarantee that the geology holds recoverable resources.
Oil companies acquire leases in the expectation that some of them contain sufficient oil and gas to cover the total costs. Yet it takes years to move through federal permitting, exploration and development. The U.S. Minerals Management Service notes that only one of three wells results in a discovery of oil that can be recovered economically. In deeper water, it's one of five. All this involves huge risks, capital investment – and time.