The oil companies want to be able to lease more land (and water) from the feds in order to be able to drill for more oil. But the government has already leased 91.5 million acres for just this purpose. So what's the rub? Only about a quarter of this acreage is producing oil and gas. The oil drillers don't know whether there is possible production in the other 75%. And they're not trying to find out.

What they are doing instead is trying to persuade the powers that be to lease them more and more land (at very cheap prices, by the way) so that what? So that they will control oil and gas turf way into the future.

Such transactions will not relieve the present power crisis.

This fakery and fibbery are discussed in "Quest for Oil: Where to Look Is the Question, Drill on New Lands or Existing Fields," an extremely informative article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal.