SOURCE: PPJ GAZETTE
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.
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.”
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.”