The draft recommendations, obtained by the newspaper, are contained in a report being prepared for a Bush administration task force, led by Vice President Dick Cheney, that is developing a national energy policy.
Bush and Interior Secretary Gale Norton have said that modern technology makes possible greatly expanded oil and gas drilling on federal lands without environmental damage.
The centerpiece of that effort is winning congressional approval for drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Norton declined to discuss the recommendations until the administration finalizes its energy plan. "It would be premature for me to talk about any specific proposals," she said.
The preliminary proposals recommend that the Bush administration push Congress to decide which lands among 17 million acres of "wilderness study areas" should be permanently protected. The remainder would be released for development.
The proposals also include expediting applications for construction of a natural-gas pipeline to deliver gas from Alaska's North Slope and modifying Forest Service land-use plans that restrict energy development.
Those comprehensive plans, usually many years in the making and involving extensive public comment, ban drilling in large areas such as Montana's Lewis and Clark National Forest.
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