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SOURCE: Alaska Public Media

DATE: January 4, 2019

SNIP: As the partial government shutdown drags on, the Trump administration is making sure some Interior Department employees continue work on one of its biggest, most controversial priorities: opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.

Drilling opponents were quick to criticize the move, contrasting it with the overflowing trash cans and unattended public toilets in national parks managed by Interior, which have become a symbol of the continuing stalemate in Washington, D.C.

The partial shutdown also isn’t stopping Trump’s Interior Department from pressing ahead with potentially allowing more oil development in another vast, federally managed area in the Arctic, the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, or NPR-A.

The Bureau of Land Management confirmed it is going forward with previously scheduled public meetings on overhauling the NPR-A management plan in the North Slope communities of Utqiagvik on Fri., Jan. 4 and Nuiqsut on Sat., Jan. 5, despite many other Interior Department activities remaining frozen.