Even though the price of oil futures plummeted to less than zero during the pandemic (meaning energy production was so much greater than demand that there was no place to store the excess), the Trump Administration is nonetheless set to unleash a tsunami of new oil and gas leasing on the Moab area.
The Bureau of Land Management September 2020 lease sale includes 250 parcels that cover more than 150,000 acres, including proposed wilderness lands near Arches and Canyonlands national parks, Bears Ears, and Deadhorse Point.
The sheer density of leases could completely change the character of popular recreation areas to resemble fossil fuel sacrifice zones in the Uinta Basin.
A 2016 “Moab Master Leasing Plan” was supposed to prevent conflicts between leasing and recreation. However, the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance says that the Trump Administration has “weaponized that plan and is now promoting leasing in a magnitude and scope that was never intended.”
Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance: www.suwa.org
This is an excerpt from our May EnviroNews column. View the full article here.