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Federal workers processed drilling permits during shutdown

April 3, 2019

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Documents show that about one-fourth of the federal oil and gas drilling permits approved during the 35-day government shutdown was for sites in Wyoming.

The Casper Star-Tribune reported Tuesday the Bureau of Land Management processed 267 applications for permits to drill in six states during the shutdown that started in late December.

Bureau employees processed 100 applications in New Mexico — the largest number for a state during the shutdown. Wyoming had the second most.

The bureau had brought some employees back to work in western field offices to process permit applications during the shutdown.

Interior Department spokeswoman Molly Block says the drilling permit process was not truncated during the shutdown.

She says all appropriate laws regarding public comment and environmental review were followed with each application.

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Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com