Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Utah activists disrupt BLM auction of oil and gas leases

As BLM auctioneer Glen Parker began soliciting bids on a handful of Utah oil and gas leases Tuesday, about 40 visitors chanted softly in two-part harmony, the latest effort by climate activists to disrupt sales of hydrocarbon minerals under public lands. The auction, which proved to be a near-total bust, went on after Salt Lake City police peeled singers off the floor and escorted them from the meeting room at the city's main library while the chanting grew louder. "People gonna rise up with the water, "We're gonna calm this crisis down," they sang. "I hear the voice of my great-grandaughter, " 'Keep it in the ground.' " A few sarcastic remarks aside, the scene was remarkable for the civility and respect protesters and police showed each other. Officers refrained from arresting anyone, although Bureau of Land Management officials cautioned auction observers that disruptions would be met with arrest. Across the West, activists are protesting federal oil and gas auctions, arguing that publicly owned fossil fuels should be left in the ground because burning coal, oil and gas is creating "climate chaos" by filling the atmosphere with excess carbon dioxide...more

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