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Utah Wars -Oil and Gas Leasing

Dispatches from the battlefront of the oil and gas leasing war in Utah.

Viralizing the Push-Back -- by Phil Triolo

Oil and Gas Leasing in Utah: The Back Story  -- by Richard Lance Christie

Thanks to Rich for this:  "In 2004, Environmental Working Group did a report titled "Who Owns the West?" The link is to the section on oil & gas leases.  Obviously, the Bush administration has done more in the last four years."

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Recently Updated
8 Worth Saving Last Updated on 2009-10-14 00:00:00 Salazar right to cancel drilling leases Tribune Editorial Salt Lake Tribune Updated:10/14/2009 05:47:00 PM MDT Interior Secretary Ken Salazar reached the right decision last week when he put eight parcels of land near Arches and Canyonlands national parks, Desolation Canyon on the Green River and Nine Mile Canyon near Price off-limits to oil and gas drilling. Drilling leases on the parcels, which encompass 7,670 acres, were auctioned by the Bureau of Land Management last December as the Bush administration rushed to open as much public land as possible to energy development before leaving Washington. Salazar rightly criticized the sale and his predecessor's disregard for the ecological treasures at the sites and willingness to sidestep environmental assessments routinely required before putting land on the auction block. The sale was the subject of a lawsuit brought by... More »
U.S. Blocks Oil Drilling at 60 Sites in Utah Last Updated on 2009-10-09 00:00:00 WASHINGTON — The Department of the Interior has frozen oil and gas development on 60 of 77 contested drilling sites in Utah, saying the process of leasing the land was rushed and badly flawed. The 77 government-owned parcels, covering some 100,000 acres in eastern and southern Utah, were leased in the last weeks of the Bush administration. But the leases were immediately challenged by conservation groups, and in January a federal judge blocked drilling on the ground that the Interior Department had failed to follow its own procedures for reviewing the appropriateness of lands designated for oil and gas extraction. An Interior Department review team then presented Secretary Ken Salazar with a recommendation that drilling be allowed to proceed on 17 of the 77 parcels. But it also said that the leases on eight parcels should be withdrawn and that 52 should be subjected to further study... More »
Interior boss says no to drilling on 8 Utah parcels Last Updated on 2009-10-09 00:00:00 Eight of the 77 oil and gas lease parcels sold during a December auction that a saboteur wrecked and a federal judge later halted will be off-limits to drilling, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has decided. Allowing development on the 7,670 public acres near Canyonlands and Arches national parks, Desolation Canyon and Nine Mile canyon could harm critical sage-grouse habitat with little obvious benefit to oil and gas development, concluded a 39-page analysis released Thursday. During a Washington news conference, Salazar said 52 parcels would be held back pending further study and 17 would be allowed back at upcoming auctions. Drawing from the report -- compiled by an 11-member team from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and Forest Service who examined more than 103,000 acres from the ground up -- Salazar scolded the Bush administration for allowing the Dec. 19... More »
Thank you for the question, Senator Bennett Last Updated on 2009-05-05 00:00:00 Thank you for the question, Senator Bennett. What is your suggestion Mr. DeChristopher, and those of your supporters, as to how we are going to provide energy for the United States of America? Download snippet (MP3) (Full interview here)            Well, Senator, I'm glad you asked.         My suggestion is that we first stop subsidizing fossil fuels and level the playing field for renewables.  Then we start producing solar, wind and geothermal power as quickly as possible.  All of these technologies are proven and ready to go.  The baseload power will be provided by geothermal and concentrated solar power.  We will also need to build a smart grid to get the power to the people and deal with fluctuations.  This may be a challenge, but it is a challenge that America can certainly handle... More »
Tim Meets Senator Hatch Last Updated on 2009-04-24 00:56:54  Tim DeChristopher comments on Senator Orrin Hatch's position on climate change, while lobbying in Washington, DC. More »