Monday, May 16, 2016

Feds might deny oil, gas leases to climate activist

The Bureau of Land Management has been auctioning off public land for oil and gas drilling for decades. But nothing could have prepared the agency for what's happening now in Utah. Nearly 100 climate activists disrupted a lease auction in Salt Lake City earlier this year, saying the United States needs to stop extracting oil and gas if it hopes to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. The fireworks continued after the auction, when the environmental writer Terry Tempest Williams submitted bids for two oil and gas leases — covering more than 1,100 acres — that hadn't drawn any interest during the auction.  Williams wanted to make sure that no one could drill on those lands. She and her husband Brooke were willing to pay $2,500 out of their own pockets to make it happen. But the federal government might not let them. Three months after the auction, the Bureau of Land Management still hasn't decided whether to give Williams the leases she successfully bid on. Officials at the agency's Utah office are "seeking to clarify Ms. Williams' intent to exercise reasonable diligence in developing and producing the oil and gas leases she has offered to purchase," Ryan Sutherland, a spokesperson for the Utah office, said in an email last month...more

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