BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Approvals for companies to drill for oil and gas on U.S. public lands are on pace this year to reach their highest level since George W. Bush was president.

Get our free mobile app

That finding from an Associated Press analysis of government drilling data underscores President Joe Biden’s reluctance in the face of industry and Republican resistance to more forcefully curb climate-changing emissions from fossil fuels.

The Interior Department approved about 2,500 permits to drill on public and tribal lands in the first six months of the year.

That includes more than 2,100 approvals since Biden took office January 20. New Mexico and Wyoming had the largest number of approvals.

Code Of The West: Wyoming State Code of Ethics

"The Code of the West" was declared the official state code of Wyoming, and the act was signed into law on March 3rd, 2010. Wyoming is the first state to adopt a code of ethics. The legislation chose ten ethics derived from the book "Cowboy Ethics" by James P. Owen