Kurt Repanshek. November 5, 2008. National Parks Traveller.
These and other slices of the public lands landscape deserve some form of protection for visitors today and tomorrow to enjoy. And yet, the outgoing Bush administration is determined to open them to drilling rigs with all their associated access roads, noise, air, and, potentially, water pollution.
How much is too much? When the oil and gas industry in Utah has nearly 3,500 drilling permits in hand, but which have not been acted upon, why is the Bush administration selling them more, particularly in sensitive areas around national parks and monuments?
Conservation groups such as the National Parks Conservation Association, The Wilderness Society, and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance warned that the BLM was poised to announce on Election Day that it was ready to sell hundreds of oil and gas drilling leases in the above-cited places as well on lands surrounding Dinosaur National Monument, Arches National Park, and Canyonlands National Park.
But when Election Day arrived, BLM officials merely announced they were opening 360,000 acres to oil and gas work without specifying exactly where those leases would fall.
The twisted geology in and around Dinosaur National Monument in eastern Utah and western Colorado hints of the potential energy resources buried below. NPS photo.
See: Environment News Service (ENS). Bush-Era Oil and Gas Leases Near Utah Parks Canceled. 2/4/2009.
See: Deseret News. Geoff Liesik and Mary Bernard. "Judge says drilling lease lawsuit too late". Salt Lake City. 9/2/2010.
See:Earthworks: 4/1/2010 "Obama's gifts to extractive industries continue with defense of Bush mining policy".