Oil and Gas Drilling Stopped in Utah

Associated Press Writer Paul Foy, Associated Press Writer – Wed Feb 4, 2009

SALT LAKE CITY – In a high-profile reversal of the Bush administration, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Wednesday the government is scrapping the lease of 77 parcels of federal land for oil and gas drilling in Utah’s redrock country.

“In the last weeks in office, the Bush administration rushed ahead to sell oil and gas leases near some of our nation’s most precious landscapes in Utah,” Salazar said from Washington in a teleconference call with reporters.

At first, the BLM was going to auction a parcel so close to Delicate Arch, the signature landmark at Arches park near Moab, drills might have been visible through the center of the 33-foot-wide span. That parcel was 1.3 miles away. It was taken off the auction list under Park Service protest, but the BLM took bids on other drilling parcels within view of Arches, Canyonlands and Dinosaur parks.

Read the rest of the story HERE.

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