Environews, Environews

Environews: Oil & gas leasing frenzy near national parks scheduled for fall

By Amy Brunvand

A Bureau of Land Management (BLM) oil and gas lease sale scheduled for September 2020 threatens to drastically alter the landscape of southern Utah, affecting more than 114,000 acres near Canyonlands, Arches, Capitol Reef, Bears Ears, Labyrinth Canyon, Deadhorse Point State Park and the Green River.

Ironically, Utah oil and gas production has been in decline since spring 2019; the leasing frenzy comes at a time when the Trump Administration is trying to prop up a flagging fossil fuel industry.

Nonetheless, the September lease sale creates a potential time bomb even more destructive than the Bush-era lease sale in December 2008 that led to Tim De Christopher’s act of civil disobedience.

The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance asks citizens to contact Governor Gary Herbert  asking him to tell the BLM to cancel the inappropriate lease sale.

In the past, citizen action and the governor’s intervention have successfully prevented oil and gas leasing near Dinosaur National Monument, Sand Flats Recreation Area, and Zion National Park.

SUWA Action Alert: bit.ly/3hNYmyu

This is an excerpt from our July Environews column. View the full article here.  

This article was originally published on July 3, 2020.