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Court: No new offshore drilling work during federal shutdown

By MEG KINNARD, Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A federal judge in South Carolina has turned back the Trump administration's attempt to continue preparatory work for offshore drilling during the federal government's partial shutdown.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel issued an order Friday halting federal entities "from taking action to promulgate permits, otherwise approve, or take any other official action" for permits to conduct testing that's needed before drilling work can begin.

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump recalled workers at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management so they could continue to process testing permits for possible drilling off the Atlantic coastline.

Gergel is overseeing a federal lawsuit opposing the Trump administration's plans to conduct offshore drilling tests. Earlier this month, South Carolina joined the action filed by environmental groups and municipalities along the state's coast.

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