BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — In the closing months of the Trump administration, energy companies stockpiled enough drilling permits for western public lands to keep pumping oil for years.

That stands to undercut President-elect Joe Biden’s plans to block new drilling on public lands to address climate change.

An Associated Press analysis of government data shows the permit stockpiling has centered on oil-rich federal lands in New Mexico and Wyoming and accelerated in September and October as Biden was cementing his lead over President Donald Trump.

The industry was aided by speedier permitting approvals since Trump took office.

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OOK: Historical Wyoming License Plates Since 1914

LOOK: Historical Wyoming License Plates Since 1914


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