Outside the Outbreak: Consequences for rioters at work, oil companies lock in drilling

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Rioters who stormed US Capitol now face backlash at work

Trump supporters gather outside the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

A printing company in Maryland saw the photo on Twitter Wednesday night: an employee roaming the halls of the U.S. Capitol with a company badge around his neck. He was fired the next day.

Others are facing similar repercussions at work for their participation in Wednesday’s riot at the U.S. Capitol. Some business owners are being trashed on social media and their establishments boycotted, while rank-and-file employees at other businesses have been fired.

Protesters swarm Statehouses across US; some evacuated

Supporters of President Donald Trump gather to protest at the Arizona Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Protesters backing President Donald Trump massed outside statehouses from Georgia to New Mexico on Wednesday, leading some officials to evacuate while cheers rang out at several demonstrations as a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Hundreds of people gathered in state capitals nationwide to oppose President-elect Joe Biden’s win, waving signs saying “Stop the steal” and “Four more years.” Most of them didn’t wear masks amid the coronavirus pandemic, and some carried guns in places like Oklahoma, Georgia, Arizona, Nevada and Washington state.

There were some scuffles in states like Ohio and California, with some instances of journalists or counterprotesters being pepper-sprayed or punched, but most demonstrations were peaceful — some of them quite small — and only a few arrests were reported.

Oil companies lock in drilling, challenging Biden on climate

FILE – In this April 9, 2014, file photo, oil rigs stand in the Loco Hills field on U.S. Highway 82 in Eddy County near Artesia, N.M., one of the most active regions of the Permian Basin. 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. (AP Photo/Jeri Clausing, File)

In the closing months of the Trump administration, energy companies stockpiled enough drilling permits for western public lands to keep pumping oil for years and undercut President-elect Joe Biden’s plans to curb new drilling because of climate change, according to public records and industry analysts.

An Associated Press analysis of government data shows the permit stockpiling has centered on oil-rich federal lands in New Mexico and Wyoming. It accelerated during the fall as Biden was cementing his lead over President Donald Trump and peaked in December, aided by speedier permitting approvals since Trump took office.

The goal for companies is to lock in drilling rights on oil and gas leases on vast public lands where they make royalty payments on any resources extracted. Biden wants to end new drilling on those same lands as part of his overhaul of how Americans get energy, with the goal of making the nation carbon neutral by 2050.

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