Environmentalists cried foul Tuesday as oil companies continued to drill on public lands through the ongoing government shutdown.
The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) vowed to pursue legal action if the Obama administration fails to stop oil-and-gas companies from drilling, logging and mining on public lands during the shutdown.
The center faulted the Interior Department for violating the Ant-Deficiency Act, which prohibits the government from racking up new financial obligations when there is a lapse in congressionally appropriated funding.
“A rabid group of House Republicans may be causing this shutdown, but the Obama administration needs to get its priorities straight,” Bill Snape, senior counsel at the center, said in a statement. “Big Oil should not have access to the public lands that are closed to the American people.”