Environmental news from around the state and the West.
How can you expect the birds to sing when their groves are cut down?
– Henry David Thoreau
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has refused to issue energy leases purchased by author Terry Tempest Williams at the quarterly lease sale last February. Williams had intended to develop a model environmental impact statement for the property that would include the impacts of burning fossil fuels on climate change.
BLM claims it cannot issue the leases because Williams’ company, Tempest Exploration Company, LLC, did not commit to developing them. However, BLM has never demanded that other lease applicants must develop as a condition of leasing. A press release from Terry Tempest and Brooke Williams says, “We have made clear to the BLM that we would consider developing our leases when science supports a sustainable use of the oil and gas at an increased value given the costs of climate change to future generations.
“The BLM’s decision to reject our lease bids highlights the agency’s misdirected and antiquated approach to fossil fuels, illuminating their fidelity to the oil and gas industry while willfully ignoring the urgency—in an era of climate change—of more enlightened management of the public lands that belong to the American people.”
Amy Brunvand is an academic librarian who currently works in the University of Utah Sustainability Office, coordinating sustainability education, research and initiatives at the University.