Michelle Malkin

Last week, Salazar defended pulling 77 oil lease contracts granted in the final days of the George W. Bush administration. Salazar's inspector general concluded that there was no evidence of any rush to auction off the parcels -- as baselessly claimed by environmental groups and Salazar himself. In fact, the leases were granted only after seven full years of rigorous study and debate.

That makes two Salazar job-destroying bans based off bogus eco-claims. (Remember: Loathsome cowboy Salazar was behind the shameless doctoring of a scientific report to bolster the Obama administration's devastating offshore drilling ban.)

Uintah County, Utah, officials have sued the Interior Department over the rescinded leases, which have cost the state untold millions of dollars and countless jobs in a tough economy. Not to mention the court expenses, legal morass and regulatory uncertainty.

Other Western states are reeling as a result of the Democrats' eco-radicalism -- and the rest of America is paying a high price, too. Salazar was a leading opponent of oil shale development when he served in the U.S. Senate for Colorado.

There are an estimated 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil shale in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming alone -- enough to potentially free us from Saudi oil dependence. Yet as Obama's interior secretary, Salazar has wielded his power to halt plans to lease oil shale rights in the West. In addition, Obama's Bureau of Land Management is dragging its feet on more than $100 million in unissued oil and gas leases in Wyoming. These resources remain untapped thanks to militant greenies who pay lip service to energy independence while blocking all practical means of achieving it.

At a partisan rally on Monday to crusade for endless unemployment insurance benefits extensions, President Obama lectured Republicans to "stop holding workers hostage to politics." Speak for yourself, pal.


Michelle Malkin

Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies" (Regnery 2010).

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