The federal government has collected nearly $100 million for drilling leases in the Rocky Mountain region, but has not issued the leases because of bureaucratic and environmental reviews or lawsuits, The Associated Press reports, citing data and interviews with Bureau of Land Management officials in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. Some of the leases have been withheld as long as seven years, which has frustrated drillers. "It's just crazy that the government, because of bureaucratic delays, is sitting on that kind of money," said Kathleen Sgamma, government-affairs director for the Denver-based Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States.

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