Finds in Favor of Environmental Groups to Protect Wilderness
WASHINGTON (January 18, 2009) – More than 110,000 acres of Utah wilderness will be protected from oil and gas...
DeChristopher Trial Date Set for March 15Last Updated on 2009-12-02 00:00:00
OK, so Tim DeChristopher can't argue at his newly scheduled March trial that he monkey-wrenched an oil and gas lease auction to save the world from global warming -- the judge won't let him -- but he may have another possible defense: selective prosecution.
Turns out, dozens of other bidders in the past five years have failed to make good on their bids for federal drilling leases.
So why single out DeChristopher with two felony charges his attorneys ask.
The reason, prosecutors suggest, is that all but two of those failed bids (including DeChristopher's) were made in good faith.
The case moved closer to a courtroom showdown Tuesday with U.S. District Judge Dee Benson setting a three-day jury trial starting March 15 for the 28-year-old University of Utah economics major, who bid on and won 14 lease parcels near national parks last December.
DeChristopher said he had no intention... More »
8 Worth SavingLast Updated on 2009-10-14 00:00:00
Salazar right to cancel drilling leases
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 00:00:00WASHINGTON — 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 parcelsLast 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 »
Renowned Climatologist James Hansen to speak at rally in support of Tim DeChristopher Last Updated on 2009-04-23 00:00:00
SALT LAKE CITY — James Hansen (Sixty Minutes interview), one of the world’s leading scientists studying climate change, will speak at a rally in support of Tim DeChristopher on Tuesday, April 28, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Salt Lake City library plaza.(map)
The event is built around DeChristopher’s arraignment at 11:45 a.m. at the Frank E. Moss Courthouse in Salt Lake City. The University of Utah student is facing two felony charges for his nonviolent disruption of an illegitimate oil and gas lease auction of public land in Utah last December.
Even though a federal court and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar rescinded the auction because of its illegitimacy, Brett Tolman, the United States attorney for Utah, has decided to charge DeChristopher with two felonies, which could mean up to 10 years in prison.
Schedule of the events with Hansen and DeChristopher:
Monday, 6... More »
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