“One of the most frustrating things about the Obama administration is the tendency of its leaders and communicators to project a message that’s absolutely demoralizing to progressive political activists,” writes left-of-center blogger Matt Yglesias.

Demoralizing? I don’t know what he’s talking about:

The Interior Department today announced plans to open 1.8 million acres of Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve to new oil and gas drilling.

The Bureau of Land Management is selling leases on 190 tracts in the reserve. Bidding will close Aug. 11.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Nearly 1 million acres in and around the reserve’s Teshekpuk Lake were put off-limits to drilling to protect important habitat for migratory birds and the local caribou herd.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the lease sale balances a commitment to energy production with environmental protection.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

(Patrick Reis reporting for E&E [subscription required]; more here.)