Trump administration presses ahead with Alaskan drilling plan despite shutdown
Added 01-04-19 05:57:02pm EST - “The Trump administration will press forward with key steps toward opening more areas in northern Alaska to oil and natural gas drilling despite the ongoing partial government shutdown.” - Thehill.com
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The Trump administration will press forward with key steps toward opening more areas in northern Alaska to oil and natural gas drilling despite the ongoing partial government shutdown.
The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which, along with multiple other agencies in the federal government is mostly shut down due to a Dec. 22 funding lapse, said it is moving ahead with hosting four meetings over the next week in northern Alaska towns on the plan’s environmental review process.
Elsewhere in Interior, trash is building up at national parks and wildlife refuges are closed, among other shutdown impacts.
The meetings are a legally required step toward a new management plan that would open areas that the Obama administration had closed off to drilling in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, a 22-million-acre tract in the northwestern part of the state.
A BLM spokeswoman said the agency must hold the meetings before the Jan. 22 closing of the public comment period. She said BLM is allowed to use funds from fiscal year 2018 — which ended Sept. 30 — for the environmental review scoping process.
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