After seeing the negative public reaction from $4 a gallon gas, President Obama is moving to open up domestic oil production. This is likely a public relations ruse. President Obama reopened offshore oil drilling last Fall, but, as of February, had only issued one permit due to the stringent new safety requirements. Don't look for there to actually be a lot of new drilling.
(The Hill)- The White House will take a series of steps — including expediting drilling plans on government lands in Alaska — designed to show that the administration is serious about expanding domestic oil production and lowering gas prices.
President Obama announced Saturday the government would hold annual onshore lease sales in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve; extend the life of leases in the Gulf of Mexico and in some areas off the coast of Alaska for one year; speed up ongoing Interior Department testing in the mid- and south-Atlantic to gauge the level of resources; and establish an interagency task force to coordinate permitting for offshore drilling in Alaska.