The Wall Street Journal has an editorial today blasting the Obama administration for banning drilling in just shy of half of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. From the editorial:

President Obama is campaigning as a champion of the oil and gas boom he’s had nothing to do with, and even as his regulators try to stifle it. The latest example is the Interior Department’s little-noticed August decision to close off from drilling nearly half of the 23.5 million acre National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. …

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says his plan “will help the industry bring energy safely to market from this remote location, while also protecting wildlife and subsistence rights of Alaska Natives.” He added that the proposal will expand “safe and responsible oil and gas development, and builds on our efforts to help companies develop the infrastructure that’s needed to bring supplies online.”

The problem is almost no one in the energy industry and few in Alaska agree with him.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free.

That’s the problem. That the energy industry doesn’t agree with him.

Why, if the announcement was made in August, is this coming up now? Certainly not because of the proximity of the presidential election, no way, it isn’t that, bite your tongue, how’d you get so cynical anyway. It is because Salazar did this sneakily. It was a “little-noticed” decision, mind you, one that the Journal thinks has gone unnoticed for too long. It is the Journal, fellow Americans, that will let you know about these secret government machinations.

Just like it did on Aug. 13, when it ran “Plan Opens Over Half of Alaska Reserve to Drilling” on page A2.

The Obama administration proposed opening up 12 million acres of Alaska’s 23 million-acre National Petroleum Reserve for oil and natural-gas drilling, while restricting energy production on the rest of the acreage.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Monday the proposal strikes “an important balance” between energy production and environmental conservation. The National Petroleum Reserve, a swath of land on Alaska’s North Slope, is home to bears, wolves and falcons, as well as caribou herds used by Alaska native villages for subsistence.

Etc., etc.

We are sorry that the Journal thinks so few people read its articles that it considers its stories “little-known.” But we’re not surprised. After all, this is the paper that embarrassed its environmental reporters while lambasting the EPA, misleading readers on climate change, and letting Romney advisors pen op-eds without mentioning any affiliation.

If you enjoyed this article, please come back tomorrow, at which point I’ll be recapping a piece I wrote in July.

Steve EngThis dog knows a more reliable source for news.