A federal court on Friday blocked the Trump administration from issuing any permits to conduct seismic testing for offshore oil and natural gas drilling during the partial government shutdown. Judge Richard Gergel of the District Court for South Carolina issued the order as part of an ongoing challenge by environmental groups and Democratic states to the administration’s November move toward allowing the testing. He ruled that all federal agencies are prohibited “from taking action to promulgate permits, otherwise approve, or take any other official action” on the applications at issue. Gergel granted that pause, but said that the same logic means BOEM should be prohibited from granting any permits until the government reopens. He noted that last week Interior asked furloughed employees to return to work in order to process the seismic testing applications. “It requires little imagination to realize that the returning BOEM employees could […]