Posts Tagged Utah land

BREAKING! Tim DeChristopher Indicted! Show Trial Ahead

Tim DeChristopher INDICTED! US Attorney Brett Tolman (Utah) has leveled formal charges. Tim’s response

This will be a political show trial at taxpayer expense.

Please join www.bidder70.org to support Tim’s brave action.  If you are a DKOS diarist, please go there and recommend this post.

 A grand jury indicted Tim DeChristopher this afternoon. He’s charged with two counts of violating the Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Act. 

Democracy Now: University of Utah student Tim DeChristopher explains how he “bought” 22,000 acres of land in an attempt to save the property from drilling. The sale had been strongly opposed by many environmental groups. Stephen Bloch of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance said: “This is the fire sale, the Bush administration’s last great gift to the oil and gas industry.”

 This is about politics. US Attorney Brett Tolman (Jason Chavetz look-alike)  is Orrin Hatch’s ‘boy.’  I think we may assume Tolman has given up any hope to being retained by Obama’s Justice Department and is gunning for Jim Matheson’s (D-UT) seat or the new 4th District seat.

Utah Now (full story): He’s the 27-year-old college student and environmental activist who disrupted a public land auction last month by bidding up several parcels intended for oil and gas development. Join us as we take a closer look at what some are calling a case of modern-day monkey wrenching.

Please donate to Tim’s Legal Defense

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Closing the barn doors after the horses are gone

You have to give him credit for trying. Utah State Rep Mike Noel of Kanab managed to get his bill through which would punish land lease bidders who have no intention of buying those leases. This, of course, is directed at the action of our local hero, Tim DeChristopher, whose spontaneous idea managed to disrupt a fraudulent auction (the lease sales from which were later canceled by the Obama administration).

The thing is this: it’s been done. No-one would attempt to do it again because clearly the parties involved will now be very alert to any such possibility. It couldn’t happen twice. It really was the perfect protest, at the right time and done in the best possible, peaceful way. I’d call it a work of art in the civil disobedience arena, and one that cannot be duplicated.

So why do we need Rep. Noel’s bill? I guess because it always makes people feel better when they prevent something that really upset and frustrated them from happening again in the future – even if there’s no possibility of that event.

Tim DeChristopher is still the champion!

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Leases Canceled and Oil Companies Lie

archesCliff posted yesterday the breaking news that Obama’s new Interior Secretary Ken Salazar had nullified the BLM’s illegal sale of leases to drill for gas and oil near Utah’s national parks.

The response from the oil industry was predictable:

But Kathleen Sgamma, director of government affairs for the Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States, a nonprofit association that represents independent natural gas and oil producers in the Intermountain West, said her group had “grave concerns” over the direction the new administration was taking.

“This is going to make it more difficult to develop the natural gas resources we need for our nation’s energy security,” she said. [emphasis added]

So what about this?

Drillers cutting back in Utah’s biggest gas field

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The frenzied pace of drilling in Utah’s biggest gas field, the Uinta Basin, has seen a big decline with falling petroleum prices and tight bank credit.

The number of rigs at work statewide is down to 23, half of the number as last August, according to figures the Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining plans to release Wednesday.

Also, the number of gas wells completed in January was 63, down from 84 for the same month last year.

Most of Utah’s drilling activity takes place near Vernal in the Uinta Basin, where one player, Colorado-based Gasco Energy, says it called off an expensive experiment to do horizontal drilling, which can dramatically boost production.

Gasco cited declining prices for Rocky Mountain natural gas, which is hard to pipe out of the region.

You bet the oil companies want to tie up these leases, whether they develop them or not. Look at the thousands of leases for off-shore drilling they now own but have never developed. And still, they want more of those too. And they want to rip up the delicate Utah landscape for oilshale as well!

The oil companies are not interested in our security so much as their own profits. With oil prices so low, there will be no new development. The oil companies try to make themselves look like patriots in this debacle. Let’s not be deceived. It’s only about money.

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Why I Disrupted A Fraudulent Auction

I have been an environmentalist for most of my life. I have marched, held signs, written letters and spoken to my Congressman. I have built trails and removed invasive species in National Parks. I have educated friends on climate change and donated to a dozen different groups. Countless others have done all these same things for decades in defense of our wilderness and a livable future.

It hasn’t worked. Even with a new administration, we are not on track for a livable future. This has been made clear by James Hanson, Bill McKibben, Al Gore and many others. The legitimate pathways to power have not provided us with the ability to defend the survival of our civilization. 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.

bidder70.org Tim DeChristopher

What I did no doubt puts me at significant risk, including prison. But my future was already at significant risk. As we get closer and closer to the point of too late, we have less and less to lose from resisting. Accepting the true depth of the climate crisis is extremely scary, but the purpose of fear is to motivate us to action. Many of us have sat around countless times saying how much we needed someone to do something. If I am not willing to take a stand for my generation, then who will? This year I have come to terms with the idea that I might be my own best hope to defend my future. Hopefully all of us will realize that we are the ones we have been waiting for.

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194 Comments

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