Horse News

BLM’s Oil & Gas Lease Corruption Exposed


By Debbie Coffey, Director of Wild Horse Affairs, WHFF                                       Copyright 2013                        All Rights Reserved.


“The REAL criminals, the BLM, who are sale/leasing our public lands for as little as $2 an acre, who allow “volunteers” paid for by oil companies to process the permits, and do NOT abide by the law, continue to go unchecked. ”


Outbidding the rigged bids at BLM auction

“On December 19, 2008 Tim DeChristopher disrupted a highly disputed Utah BLM Oil and Gas lease auction, effectively safeguarding thousands of acres of pristine Utah land that were slated for oil and gas leases. Not content to merely protest outside, Tim entered the auction hall and registered as bidder #70. He outbid industry giants on land parcels (which, starting at $2 an acre, were adjacent to national treasures like Canyonlands National Park), winning 22,000 acres of land worth $1.7 million before the auction was halted.

Public attention was suddenly focused on the land that the BLM was going to lease for oil exploration, and “Two months later, incoming Interior Secretary Ken Salazar invalidated the auction.”  

David Letterman had environmental activist Tim DeChristopher as a guest on his show recently to talk about this BLM oil and gas lease sale, and this (approximately) 12 minute segment is a MUST SEE, not only for wild horse advocates, but for anyone who cares about clean drinking water, uncontaminated aquifers, the safety of food and the health of American families.

There is a new documentary out called “Bidder 70,” which is about DeChristopher.  Here is the trailer:

DeChristopher paid a high price for saving these public lands.  He was sentenced to 2 years in a federal prison and a $10,000 fine.  Please read Tim DeChristopher’s entire statement here:

The REAL criminals, the BLM, who are sale/leasing our public lands for as little as $2 an acre, who allow “volunteers” paid for by oil companies to process the permits, and do NOT abide by the law, continue to go unchecked.  And the oil companies, who can let the BLM know what lands they are interested in buying (so they’re actually able to SELECT the public lands they want to rape) continue to “STEAL” from the American public by not paying what the lands are worth.

Not only that, during drought, deep-pocketed energy companies have also driven up the price of water, and farmers can’t compete.  Prices were about “$9 to $100 for an acre-foot of water in auctions held by cities with excess supplies. But these days, energy companies are paying some cities $1,200 to $2,900 per acre-foot.”

These BLM oil and gas lease sales are happening over and over again, throughout the West.  In Wyoming, the BLM has leased much of the land in wild horse Herd Management Areas for fracking, while claiming the few remaining wild horses are “degrading” the range, and then removing them from their (supposedly) federally protected areas.

Fracking requires enormous quantities of water. Estimates put water usage at between 3 and 5 million gallons per fracking of a single well, and each well can be fracked several times.”

BLM has plans to remove wild horses because of drought (so they don’t have to do an Environmental Assessment), while at the same time, they plan sale/leasing public lands in the area for oil & gas development (a big shout out to the BLM Elko District in Nevada).

Just in March, 2013, the BLM Elko District sold over 45,000 acres for oil and gas exploration.

 but yet, a few months later, they plan to remove wild horses in 3 Herd management Areas (Triple B, Maverick-Medicine, and the western and central portions of the Antelope Valley) leaving ONLY 548-1,015 wild horses on 1,839,459 acres of public land.  (That’s about 1 horse per about 1,800 acres at the most, and at the lower range, it’s about 1 horse per 3,600 acres.)

Yet, the BLM again perpetrates fraud against the American public by claiming “With the lack of needed precipitation this past fall and winter, BLM expects that there will be a lack of available water for wild horses in the summer and fall months ahead.”

Scientific American just published an article regarding fracking wastewater wells and states “Over the past several decades, U.S. industries have injected more than 30 trillion gallons of toxic liquid deep into the earth, using broad expanses of the nation’s geology as an invisible dumping ground.”

Are Fracking Wastewater Wells Poisoning the Ground Beneath our Feet?

Is this BLM’s “thriving natural ecological balance?”

Will Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell call a halt to oil and gas lease auctions in areas of drought?

In what seems to be a perfect “ending” to this article (besides thanking Tim DeChristopher), David Letterman says it best when he talks about fracking (this was on his show last year, but it’s still very relevant), “We’re Screwed.”


34 replies »

  1. We all know this has been going on it is NOT just the Welfare Cattle leases … I have heard that some employee’s from BP WORK in the interior Dept.. some have gone back and forth in upper level positions, so yeah the manure is SO DEEP….. I hate to say this but Sally Jewel will not be changing anything I have a feeling, she might be the head of everything BUT there are SO MANY in that organization that are corrupt that really have the control she is just a figure stick, I hope I am wrong..

    No one in Gov. is going to stand up and expose this, well I shouldn’t say no one cause some have written to Jewel, thank god, but this will not change a thing, it has been going on for so long so many involved and I don’t see how it could ever be stopped… I mean when you have a report done for millions of dollars and you still continue to drive the horses off their land with excuse after excuse that says it all…… That being said does not mean though that we give up OH NO INDEED, the fight will go on and you never know miracles can happen??


  2. For whatever it is worth, I copied several paragraphs of this information and emailed John Boehner (or should I say boner?) What are we going to do ? God bless you for all that you are doing in keeping us informed.


    • What Speaker Boehner ohn Boehner and the rest of Congress need to know is that none of the land in the West is being managed under the laws that Congress has passed. Instead, our federal agencies are managing our natural resources for the benefit of foreign governments and multi-national companies that want to prosper by mining our rare Earth elements, precious metals, gas, and oil. Our wild horses are being managed according to the 1992 UN Convention for Biological Diversity Article 8 “in situ conservation” (h). Our wild horses and burros, particularly in the West are specifically addressed and their disappearance is being monitored by international governments and interested parties. Speaker Boehner or Representative Issa might want to know that at least one law we know about and can prove has been usurped through an international treaty that was not ratified by the Senate. President Clinton’s signature is important because this allowed the laws of the convention to become law in the U. S. through federal agencies, but because the CBD was never voted on in the It could be though because no vote up or down has been.

      The hand picked scientist Vice-President’ Gore’s decided to annoint, created a fiction that our wild horses are not native, but non-native, invasive, aliens who do not belong in a single ecosystem in the United States. VP Gore’s hot pick wrote prolifically about the threat that alien species being in the wrong habitat present to life on Earth. He did not have a lot to say because of course, the horse is native and now that the BLM has removed these native ungulates from the range we have had horrific wild fires, the West is undergoing a horrific heat wave because the grasslands are beginning to desertify, and the ecological balance that was there when the horses were has been thrown out of whack.

      If Al Gore knew anything about science and actually believed that the non-native, invasive, alien species theory had an ounce of truth it it, he would be sitting at the White House to tell President Obama that he and President Clinton made a terrible mistake when they falsely believed our wild horses were a different species that the one that was here before the wild horses disappeared. Not only were the horses Equus caballus, but the other part of the prevaricating scientist’s horse eradication plan was that our burros are also not native. NADA.

      Currently the international invasive species list can not be viewed because it is under-going reconstruction. We need to keep our eyes open to make sure that UN’s funders dont’t get away with eradicating our wild horses and burros. They belong to the American people, and no President and no administration has the right to create science that does not exist in order to defraud the American people.

      Given that President Clinton appointed his scientific adviser to a scientifically influential position in government before he left office, this scientist has been in a position for almost 20 years to control sphere’s of our country’s science. to protect the national policies that he and Vice-President Gore put in place to an fluential position in government. This influential appointment led to other influential appointments, so he had been an unheralded villain in the destruction of our wild horses and burros doing most of his damage behind closed doors or in the pages that 95% of American’s will never pick up and read. the war against our wild horses.

      Of course, if the goal of the CBD is to do what people that the other 1992 UN Framework for the Environment is supposed to do, the people determined to get their hands on the natural resources that belong to the people of the United States would have found some other semi-scientist to help them executive their plan.

      No illegal roundups. Congress voted to protect our wild horses and burros for us. President Clinton had no right to implement a law that would specifically eradicate our national icons, so Al Gore’s carbon credit friends could grow even more wealthy through his attempt to gift them our natural resources.


      • Thanks for those educational remarks, HoofHugs.

        One note: the United Nations Convention for Biological Diversity is different than the Center for Biological Diversity though both have the acronyn CBD. I don’t know the position the latter takes on our native wild horses and burros, but the nonprofit is all about protecting imperiled species.


      • Does OPEC own British Petroleum? Could have something to do with the inherent hate these people have for America & American icons like the Wild Horse – they’re striking at the very heart of everything American – including our natural resources like oil, gas, wildlife – Its interesting to me that they’re only going after Horses & Burrows on these lands & no other wild animals & not the cattle- There’s another underlying reason they’re targeting Americans Icons – Lots of hate behind this – check out OPEC & their real motives – they really are taking over our country – also check out the internet – lots of info about the 30+ muslim terrorist training camps right here in the gold ol’ USA – & no one’s intervening, while American Gun Rights are being demolished – also by foreign interest groups!!


  3. “Wow” the Corruption of Fracking interests is on many levels deeper than realized….This is going to take a Civil War of advocates…… They are ruining our country!


  4. This issue is gigantic and it certainly explains a lot about what is happening to our wild horses and burros and our land … all being sold out … literally.

    For example, those of you who can maneuver google earth … take a look in the area above Rock Springs, Wyoming. Zoom in to the area about 20 miles south of Boulder, Wyoming and see the drilling rigs and drilling scars. Then as you look around Wyoming’s devastated land, compare it with this Wyoming wild horse herd management area map:

    Then take a look at this quick National Geographic summary that gives more information on this public land oil and gas issue.

    Frightening for our wild ones and frightening for our future generations.


    • Too bad the wild horses & burros weren’t mentioned in that Natural Geographic video. Reminds me of the Gasland movie
      about the fracking in PA & now being pushed here in NY. Cant help thinking that another 10-20 years (or not even that long) and the whole country is going to be covered by well pads. How much longer can we go on accepting that this has nothing to do with “climate change” and the drastic weather changes? A someone once said – the burros & wild horses are our canaries in the coal mines.


  5. I know someone who is as ecstatic as I am to learn that hero Tim DeChristopher is not only out of jail now but is beginning to get the media attention he and his message so deserve. That person is Denise!

    Debbie, thank you for this once-again brilliant expose of the truth. We so appreciate that your research is impeccably thorough and accurate, and that in your observations and conclusions you refuse to mince your words.

    A shout-out to R.T. and Terry for this newly designed blog. It’s beautiful. I feel like I’m on the range with the horses and burros as I type this.

    May the wild ones return to their homes — by some “miracle” (to use Debbie’s word) equivalent to the parting of the Red Sea. May we be as humble and as committed to the cause of freeing our equine friends as Moses was when he led the children of Israel on the 40-year exodus out of Egypt. The Pharoah finally caved. So must today’s tyrants.


  6. Just watched Letterman’s interview with Tim. It’s top-notch!

    At the bottom of the Late Night Show page is a place for Facebook comments.

    I’m not on FB, so I used the “site feedback” and “submit a question” links to send this message:

    Huge thanks to CBS and David Letterman for introducing Tim DeChristopher and his new documentary to American citizens.

    We need many more such public interest programs on late-night talk shows. May Dave lead the way.

    Question/Suggestion/Comment: How about doing a Late Night Show segment on our beautiful, once-free-to-roam wild horses and burros?

    The BLM has been rounding them up in massive numbers in recent years to make way for energy, mining, and cattle ranching interests.

    It’s the corporatization of the Wild West happening right before our eyes. Our puppet government officials, controlled as they are by private profiteers, seem unstoppable — unless we STAND UP en masse, a la Tim DeChristopher!


    • Letterman likes horses,. Goodluck. But we don’t have a Julia Butterfly Hill to send to him. It ain’t over yet. And it may get worse before it goes anywhere.


    • We need a serious restructing of our federal government. There is no evidence federal employees consider themselves public servants or are in any way showing any sort of responsible fiscal behavior. I know people that are living on fixed incomes who heed help with their household chores, so their friends help them out while these charlatans do not learn a think about wild horses or how to keep accurate records. No. The BLM trains its employees how to deceive the press and the public. This lack of respect for their jobs, the tax payer, and our hard earned tax dollars while abusing tax payers at the same time should not be tolerated.


      • Yep, E, true on both counts and you just described me. And BLM does want military level security. Look at what they are doing! We get in their way.


      • Right on both counts, E. You are describing me there. This has been my work for 40 years and that is why I am poor, but proud. The Sequester just about did us in…


  7. And Tim DeChristopher also said “Were Screwed”.

    It’s going take an act of God and an Army to see any big changes to this situation…

    I do not have my rose colored glasses on, this was a “SMACK” in the face and what I
    had been saying. Behind the curtains the unknown is to be revealed…Here it is!!!!!

    R.T. and the rest of our Advocates this is some serious Sh@t!

    Doesn’t mean we don’t fight to the end for our Mustangs!!!!!!!….Just emphasizing what I see and feel.


  8. Funny how the advocates were all shook up when we talked about DeChristopher, right here in 2009 and 2010. I followed this closely because of the sensitive areas that were going up for leases. We were just readying to return to South West Colorado when he did this. He did not intend to do this. He just wanted to try to stop these lands near Canyonlands and Arches, located South and SW of Moab, Utah, from being destroyed. I was amazed that BLM would come into this area of delicate geological forms that is visited by millions of people every year. Tim said he impulsively became a bidder knowing they would find him out.

    Whenever I mentioned Civil Disobedience back then I was ‘shouted’ down by all here because they did not understand nonviolent protest. They were afraid of it. It took a couple years before some people would venture to say; “But I would go to jail if I joined a group and we lay down on the road to keep the BLM from removing wild horses.” Yes, Maybe overnight. And you might get fined and you might be given probation, too. And you might not even make the news these days. But protesters are still stopping government sponsored projects that are bad for our public lands and bad for private lands (Keystone XL Pipeline may still be canceled at any time by Obama). Civil Disobedience has always been one of our alternatives and still is.

    He did a brave thing and he did not pay anywhere near as high a price as he might have and the sentence was a relief for those of us who knew that what he did had saved lands that Americans love and treasure. Lands I know and love are not invaded today because of his strong desire to act; to do what ever he could to make the sales stop. He was free for a long time and we had hoped he would get off but they made an example of him… sort of. He was not a known activist before he made those bids. He certainly is now. BUt that was never his motivation.

    Darryl Hannah has been arrested a few times including last year protesting the Keystone XL Pipeline. She has done this to stand up for her beliefs and her love of the land and because, like DeChristopher, she has a right to express herself using her presence in order to bring attention to a wrong that she may be able to stop. These people have stopped terrible things from happening and sometimes, as in the Community Garden, they lose. But they don’t stop trying.

    We are not a campaign of younger people. Today many protests have gray haired members and some of us were activists in the 60s, many not. We have our voices and our presence to fight back against BLM wrong doing. We are non violent despite our anger and the continued horrors we discover BLM complicit in. We have not given up.

    But I warn you, the playing field is rapidly changing and those of us who have been a part of the joined voices in defense of our wild horses and burros may find ourselves standing outside the final decisions made concerning the lives and future of our wild ones. If this happens, that will be the time to consider who has worked for the wild ones and who has been working for themselves all along. Don’t be surprised. Things are not as they seem right now. We will know where we all stand in the near future. And then the horses and burros may need us to do more than we have because there will no longer be any other choices except to lose them. Even getting it in writing in this day and age does not guarantee the law will be respected or upheld. BLM has willfully become the breaker of the law. We are justified in defending it.


  9. Just received an email from a friend with this link:
    After reading about BLM’s massive sales & leasing of the public land then reading the article at the above link regarding the EPA’s “helpfulness” to Monsanto & other chemical companies – certainly doesn’t give anyone a warm feeling about the government. That is, if any of us had a warm feeling towards it. Better that we are aware of this crap – I guess.


  10. All of us here know that the time will come when more action is going to be needed. On another site it was said in China, when cat and dog meat trucks go threw a town, they can mobilize thousands of people in minutes to stop them-but here in our free country-nothing. Do we care any less?
    This video was sent to me a long time ago-these are the people we should be learning from.


  11. According to what I saw on Fox news this morning this would account for the US now producing more oil than Arabia, at least for the past five months. This is where its coming from. The talking heads said it was because of some new technology that the oil companies didn’t have before. Their new technology is simply Fracking and drilling more and more wells. This is what they are telling the public and the public generally believes it. But if these companies keep taking the water that will have a dire effect on all wildlife. You can’t replace the water unless you have rain and snowfall. With the planet warming like it is, which now is a known fact, these areas may begin to look like Arizona and New Mexico. The water table in these states has been dropping for years. When I left Arizona in 89 you had to drill down 3000 feet to hit water if you were putting in a well. You also had the added expense of paying for the size of pump that could pull water from such a depth.

    I believe the oil companies also want to start the real destruction of opening up Tar Sands if they can find any in the US. The photos I saw of the Tar Sands in Canada looked like a black moonscape of poisoned ground.


    • And NOW there are livestock people actually objecting to these sales? Shameful they only come forward when it hits them personally. Too bad the ranchers don’t realize that they should be on the side of the wild horses & burros. Could have made a difference back when. ( I know this was said before many times)


  12. Believe it or not…this situation is far worse than the troubles facing our wild equines; although permanently connected and a symptom of the greater cancer.

    This is bad, people….really, really bad for us/US and the world. Big energy and mining is doing this all over the world.

    Many people support civil disobedience. Keystone is a prime example. In reality, I understand the pipeline is almost completed and Obama Administration will approve.

    What happened to DeChristopher was appalling, disgusting, unAmerican, unConstitutional and inhuman…..but Slaughterczar won…..didn’t he?

    Anyone watch or understand the auction/land lease system? I won’t discuss ideas on a public forum…..but I have some ideas that I sure others like McKibben (380/320 degrees… do.


  13. Speaking of American heroes who aren’t afraid to tell the truth about our government, has anyone heard of “Classified Woman” Sibel Edmonds? You’ll find her impassioned defense of whistleblowers in this June 25th 90-minute-long interview (be sure to listen to the last 10 minutes):


  14. Read this today, not sure of the date it was written but my question is – does a congressman have the power to do this and if so WHO did it?

    Environmental activist Tim DeChristopher, who was given a two-year sentence in prison for making fake bids in a Utah public land auction that was later found to be corrupt, was moved to solitary confinement after a member of Congress contacted the Bureau of Prisons.
    Unnamed Congressman Has Tim DeChristopher Moved into Solitary Confinement


  15. This will take just a couple minutes.

    It’s a petition to the BLM from the Center for Biological Diversity (a reputable environmental organization I strongly endorse).

    Brief background info first:

    Our landmark national parks are under siege: A dozen areas in the national park system already house oil and gas operations, and 30 areas may be threatened by drilling in the future.

    This means our cherished public lands face severe air and water pollution, the animals and plants that depend on these lands will experience devastating habitat loss, and people who spend time on these public lands will see their health threatened and their experience of nature degraded.

    Theodore Roosevelt and Grand Teton national parks are just two cherished places threatened by the rapid expansion of oil and natural gas drilling and fracking. Nationwide the Bureau of Land Management estimates that 90 percent of new oil and gas wells on federal land are fracked.

    But the Bureau’s new draft fracking rules are even weaker than in the past. Sadly, these regulations seem designed to encourage as much fracking as possible, while doing little to protect the environment or people’s health.

    Now’s our chance to ensure the feds take real steps to protect our national treasures. Tell the Bureau of Land Management to ban fracking on our public lands.

    Take action here:


    • The Theodore Roosevelt National Park is planning a round up and sale to auction the wild horses in the park this September. Whether we like it or not, these horses are going to public auction. These are not horses under the BLM/USFS jurisdiction but they are still OUR wild horses and you will see by the photos on the facebook page – they are awesome! I hope people will pass the word to help save these horses from the slaughter pipeline.


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