Tim Dechristopher and Oil Leases in Utah Update

I had blogged recently about how one guy gamed an auction of Utah public lands to prevent the sale of sensitive land to oil and gas companies. It looks like he may be off the hook, at least temporarily.

A federal judge on Saturday blocked oil and natural gas exploration on tens of thousands of acres of federal land in Utah, saying in an 11th-hour decision that the Interior Department had not done sufficient environmental analysis, particularly of how air quality might be degraded.The decision by the judge, Ricardo M. Urbina of Federal District Court in Washington, granted a temporary restraining order sought by seven environmental groups to prevent oil and gas companies from taking possession of leases they had purchased Dec. 19.

11th-Hour Ruling Blocks Utah Oil and Gas Leases – NYTimes.com

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Tim Dechristopher, Environmental Hero

tdcAn act of quite some chutzpah, “outbidding” oil and gas companies in a public land auction. The land was going over for even more oil and gas exploration at a time when we should really be ramping down gas and oil usage.

More on contributing to his cause here. He needs 45,000 dollars in downpayment to the US government to keep the process going. He appears to be well on his way, but needs some more money to get over the top. It is more than likely that the Obama administration is going to cancel the land grab process anyway, so he will be off the hook soon enough.

Audacious, brilliant and brave.

One Utah » Blog Archive » Why I Disrupted A Fraudulent Auction.

Yesterday I decided that the crisis facing us requires more critical action than has been taken in the past. When faced with the opportunity to seriously disrupt the auction of some of our most beautiful lands in Utah to oil and gas developers, I could not ethically turn my back on that opportunity. By making bids for land that was supposed to be protected for the interests of all Americans, I tried to resist the Bush administration’s attempt to defraud the American people.

At this point it appears that I was successful in my attempts to disrupt this fraudulent auction. The federal officials who took me into custody said that I cost the oil companies in the room hundreds of thousands of dollars and prevented 22,500 acres of land from being sold for fossil fuel development. I had a very open conversation with the federal agents about my motivations and values. They were friendly, respectful, and somewhat sympathetic.