(FASTNEWS|COLOMBO) – Even as a partial shutdown halts the functions of many U.S. government departments, forcing the Department of the Interior to close national parks, the Trump administration is continuing to push for the expansion of oil drilling on sensitive, federally owned lands in Arctic Alaska.
The Alaska Bureau of Land Management (BLM), part of the Interior Department, was scheduled to hold a meeting on Wednesday night in Wainwright, an Inupiat village on the Arctic coast, over a plan to expand oil development in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. The bureau is legally required to hold public meetings on its plans.
Wednesday marked the 19th day of a partial US government shutdown caused by the failure of President Donald Trump and Congressional Democrats to agree on a spending bill that provides funding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, one of Trump’s key election pledges.
Nine federal departments, including the Department of the Interior – whose BLM handles permits for oil and gas drilling on public land – have been affected, to varying degrees.
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