Jun 28, 2011 5:36 AM by Kate Richards
DENVER (AP) - Rep. Mike Coffman has introduced legislation to streamline the process for getting oil and gas drilling permits on leases of federal land.
The trade groups Western Energy Alliance and Colorado Oil and Gas Association support the Colorado Republican's bill.
The Bureau of Land Management has said it takes on average 206 days to process a drilling permit application. Coffman's bill would require the permit process be completed in 180 days for the 200 onshore leases with the highest energy potential.
Coffman says the U.S. could reduce energy costs by developing its resources.
The watchdog group Checks and Balances Project says the BLM processed more permit applications than it received last year.
Interior Department officials say that since 2008, U.S. oil and gas production has risen and oil imports have fallen.