Truth to Power

Utah land grab stopped

Bold Action by Department of Interior Halts Leasing of Utah Wilderness

WASHINGTON (February 4, 2009) – More than 100,000 acres of Utah wilderness will be protected from oil and gas drilling after the Department of Interior announced today that it will cancel 77 leases issued under the Bush administration. This is among the first actions taken by the Obama administration to protect America’s wild lands. Since December, a coalition of environmental groups – led by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA), Earthjustice, and the Wilderness Society – have been working to protect these public lands. In December, the coalition filed suit to stop the leasing, and, in January, Judge Ricardo M. Urbina of the U.S. District Court granted a temporary restraining order preventing the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from moving forward with these leases.

What? A government agency doing something in the public interest, and keeping wildlands out of the hands of the greedheads? What a refreshing change.


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