Obama talks with governors, business executives about shutdown

Oct. 11, 2013 at 7:54 PM

WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- The White House said Friday the U.S. government has stopped issuing permits for energy drilling and environmental reviews because of the government shutdown.

In a statement, the White House said President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden received a briefing from senior staff on the impact of the shutdown, which the administration referred to as "the lapse in appropriations."

The statement said the government has stopped issuing "permits and reviews for job-creating projects" and has suspended lease sales for federal lands in Western states.

"The government has stopped issuing permits to conduct drilling operations on Federal lands, and has stopped environmental reviews of planned transportation and energy-related projects, keeping companies from working on these projects," the statement said.

The Bureau of Land Management has stopped processing applications for permits to drill for oil and gas, as well as permits for coal and other minerals and renewable energy projects.

The White House said Obama spoke on a telephone conference call with 25 U.S. governors, Republicans and Democrats.

"The president reiterated that the brinksmanship strategy of shutting down the government and threatening default as a bargaining tactic is one that the country cannot afford," the White House said. "He argued that the prolonged shutdown is having adverse consequences on consumer confidence and businesses, and is hurting local economies across the country that rely on tourism at national parks and monuments."

The statement said Obama "reiterated that he is prepared to negotiate on ways to grow the economy, create jobs, and address our nation's long term fiscal health -- but that we shouldn't do this in a crisis atmosphere amidst a government shutdown and threat of default."

Obama also spoke Friday with about 150 business executives and nine small-business owners about the shutdown and "efforts in Congress to avoid a first-ever default in the nation's credit."

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