As the government shutdown is now the longest-ever in history, some offices around the US have re-opened. According to US News & World Report, the Bureau of Land Management has reopened offices in New Mexico and plans to open additional offices in Wyoming this week. Since the bureau oversees energy production, the offices have been reopened to ensure that oil and gas drilling applications are approved.
The news of the offices reopening caused a backlash within the conservation community, with leaders from various organizations citing the unfairness and possible illegality of the actions. The group WildEarth Guardians wrote that the Anti-Deficiency Act specifically prohibited any voluntary work on account of a government shutdown except in emergencies.
"Is there an emergency that requires them to process these drilling permits? I cannot fathom how an emergency possibly exists. The real emergency is the state of our public lands – there's nobody watching them now. This, to us, is an incredibly corrupt double-standard that's playing out here." -Jeremy Nichols, director of the Climate and Energy Program for WildEarth Guardians.