Keep It in the Ground activists halt Utah oil and gas lease sale
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Bureau of Land Management made a last-minute decision to postpone a controversial oil and gas leas sale this morning in Salt Lake City due to a “high level of public interest.” The decision came within hours of a statement released by climate activists announcing a “major protest” of the sale. Up for auction were 37,580 acres* of publicly-owned oil and gas that contain an estimated 1.6-6.6 million tons of potential carbon pollution. The area being offered for oil and gas development lies near iconic cultural and scenic areas including the Rochester Creek rock-art panel, Capitol Reef National Park, and Desolation Canyon.
Friends of the Earth Climate Campaigner Marissa Knodel issued the following response:
The decision to postpone this oil and gas lease sale due to public opposition is a huge victory for Utah, the climate, and the growing Keep It in the Ground movement. Let the Bureau of Land Management take note: communities across the country are standing strong against fossil fuel empires that seek to pillage our public lands for profit. The recent protests against oil and gas lease sales in Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah are just the beginning. So long as the federal government continues to sacrifice our lands and waters for mining, drilling and fracking, we will fight to keep public fossil fuels in the ground.
*This figure has been corrected as of November 17, 2015 at 4:41 p.m. EDT.