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Senate Democrats question legality of offshore drilling work due to shutdown

US  Senate Democrats are questioning the legality of the Trump administration’s plan to continue work on its five-year offshore drilling plan during the partial federal government shutdown, according to Reuters. The Senators sent a letter to David Bernhardt, the Department of Interior’s acting secretary, and Walter Cruickshank, acting director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) asking why the latter updated its plan to enable 40 employees to work on the offshore leasing program.

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US judge halts Atlantic seismic oil permitting due to gov shutdown

A federal court judge issued, on January 18, that the federal government can not process seismic testing permits for offshore drilling during the ongoing government shutdown, according to Reuters. The decision was ruled in response to motion filed by a range of conversation and business groups that are opposed to the administration’s efforts to expand U.S. offshore drilling.

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Democrats introduce bills to block offshore drilling in the US

A group of House Democrats introduced a suite of eight bills, on December 8, aimed at blocking President Trump’s proposal to expand offshore oil and natural gas drilling around the country. The bills occurred as Trump administration is to release the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) Proposed Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program, that will define the administration's vision of drilling procedures.

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