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The BLM sells almost record number of Utah public lands for oil and gas exploration

UTAH —  105 parcels of land totaling 154,212 acres went up for auction yesterday.

The Bureau of Land Management sale comes as part of the directed consolidation of oil and gas lease sales on a state-wide level instead district by district.  It’s also the largest lease sale since the Bush administration.

The energy industry says the added land for exploration will add to the $2.6 billion each year to Utah’s economy.

But, environmental groups say the BLM is sacrificing the state’s natural history.  National Parks Conservation spokeswoman Erika Pollard says most of the land sold is to the entrances of Utah’s most popular National Parks and Monuments and drilling will harm these recreation areas and destroy habitat for sensitive wildlife.

The attorney for The Southern Utah Alliance, Landon Newell says Arches, Canyonlands and the Glen Canyon Recreational area are among the places where oil wells will dot the landscape.

This is what Trump’s energy dominance agenda loos like in Utah,” Newell says.  “Oil and gas operators win.  Everyone else loses.”