- Associated Press - Monday, January 22, 2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A public meeting in Providence to discuss President Donald Trump’s plan to expand offshore drilling has been postponed amid the federal government shutdown.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Monday says all public meetings the bureau planned this week have been postponed because a number of employees have been furloughed temporarily. That includes the meeting planned for Thursday in Providence.

It says after the government opens again, it will “update the status of any postponed meetings” on its website .

The Trump administration has proposed a vast expansion of offshore drilling that would open 90 percent of the nation’s offshore reserves to development by private companies.

Several Rhode Island officials oppose the plan, calling it bad for the environment, economy and public health.

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