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Full of Crap: Psaki Mocks Question About Oil Drilling Regulatory Hurdles

White House press secretary Jen Psaki mocked a question about regulatory and permitting roadblocks preventing immediate oil drilling Wednesday.

“What additional permits do they need? The leases are there, the permits are there,” Psaki said during the daily White House briefing. “I don’t think they need an embroidered invitation to drill.”

Psaki also reiterated an argument that fossil fuel companies are purposely neglecting to drill on roughly 9,000 public leases. Industry groups have accused the White House of misleading the public on leases, arguing that not all leases contain oil or natural gas, drilling requires sizable private investment and further permitting is required before a company can begin extracting resources from the ground.

The groups have also pointed to the fact that the vast majority of leases are being used. There are more than 37,496 active oil and gas leases nationwide, meaning more than 75% are in use, according to the latest Bureau of Land Management data.


“The federal permit to drill is not the only government approval required. Rights of way (ROW) must be acquired to access the lease and for natural gas gathering systems,” Western Energy Alliance President Kathleen Sgamma wrote in a blog last week. “ROWs can take years to acquire. With the pressure not to flare from regulators and investors, most companies cannot drill before the gathering lines are in place.”

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources, for example, lists a dozen permits and requirements companies must obtain before drilling on a lease on its website.

Required Prior to Drilling
• SEPA Checklist (submit to DNR)
• Oil and Gas Drilling Permit Application (submit to DNR)
Requires Performance Bond, Application Fee, completed Application (Oil & Gas Form 1) with supporting
• Letter of Agreement to Reimburse Fees (submit to DNR)
• Fluids and Solids Management Plan (submit to DNR for approval)
• Site Preparation Plan (submit to DNR for approval)
• Air Quality Permit (applicable Air Quality agency, also provide to DNR)
• Material Safety Data Sheets (submit with SEPA Checklist or Oil & Gas Form 1 to DNR)
• Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures Plan (SPCC Plan – provide to DNR)
• Stormwater General Permit (Washington State Department of Ecology, provide permit to DNR)
• Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPP) and Temporary Erosion and Sediment Control Plan (TESC Plan)
(provide both to DNR)
• Forest Practices Application (submit to DNR if required; requirement is dependent on tree harvest plans)
• County Permits (varies, may include Conditional Use, Clearing and Grading, Road Use, Fire Marshal Permit, etc.
– provide to DNR)
Required During Drilling
• As-Built Survey of Drill Pad completed by Licensed Surveyor following pad construction (provide to DNR)
• BOP test results (submit to DNR within 48 hours of test completion)
• Daily Drilling Reports (submit daily to DNR within 24 hours and at drilling completion as part of DNR Oil & Gas
Form 2)
• Hydraulic fracturing or acidization plans (submit to DNR for approval)
• Chemical test results for waste characterization (submit to DNR, Ecology, and others as required)
• Permits for disposal of waste water and drill cuttings, and disposal/tipping receipts (submit to DNR)
• Changes in drilling plans must be submitted in writing to DNR for approval
Required Prior to and/or During Plugging/Abandonment and Site Reclamation
• Notice of Intent to Abandon and Plug Well (DNR Oil & Gas Form 3 – submit prior to abandonment/plugging)
• Site Reclamation Plan (submit to DNR for approval)
• Permits for disposal of waste water and drill cuttings, and disposal/tipping receipts (submit to DNR)
Required Following Plugging/Abandonment and Site Reclamation
• Well Record or History (DNR Oil & Gas Form 2; submit no later than 30 days after well completion)
• Report on Results on Plugging Well (DNR Oil & Gas Form 4; submit within 15 days after plugging is complete)
• Drill cuttings samples (provide to DNR during drilling or upon drilling completion)
• Core samples, if obtained (provide to DNR within 6 months of drilling to TD – total depth)
• Geochemical or petrophysical test results on samples from well, sidewall core samples, thin sections (if
obtained, provide to DNR)
• Well stimulation reports (process and results) (provide to DNR)
• All well logs, including mud logs, lithologic logs, cement bond logs, geophysical logs (provide to DNR within 30
days of reaching TD)
• As-built casing diagrams from surface to TD (provide to DNR)
• Notice of Termination for Stormwater General Permit from Ecology (provide to DNR

Meanwhile, the Biden administration has implemented new regulatory hurdles for domestic fossil fuel production over the last 14 months. The White House has also signaled it won’t renew the five-year off-shore lease program that is crucial for domestic energy production and ensuring continued drilling in the oil-rich Gulf of Mexico, The Washington Post reported.

In 2021, companies produced more than 1.7 million barrels of oil per day in the Gulf of Mexico, according to government data. But the most recent lease secured by a company in the Gulf occurred during the Trump administration.

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One Comment

  1. I am one of the many, who is growing weary of Ms. Psaki’s attempts to defend her boss from the hordes of critics of his policies and his character. I acknowledge she has a tough job and she handles the incoming with aplomb.

    However, he, and his policies, are destroying our nation. She needs to do the patriotic thing….give him the finger and walk away. Let him fade into obscurity in his basement in Delaware.

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