Just make a decision, already

Even for the federal government, this one may be for the record books:

In 1982, a Baton Rouge, La., firm, Solenex, obtained an energy lease on national forest land in Montana. The firm planned to drill there for natural gas.

But in 1996, the U.S. Forest Service asked for and got a suspension of the lease so it could investigate Blackfoot Indian tribe concerns about activity on the property, which has religious importance to them.

That investigation was concluded, finally, in 2012 – but the government still has not decided whether the lease should remain in place. That prompted Solenex to go to court.

Look again at the timeline. It has been nearly three decades since the government told Solenex it would have to wait for a decision on the lease.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon, who is presiding over the Solenex case, already has chastised government attorneys for the delay.

“This is no way to run a government. No way to run a government,” Leon said.

No, it is not.

But be honest: How surprising is it, really?