Last Friday Juan Palma; the BLM state director, yanked most of the federal acreage within the San Rafael area that was slated to be on the auction block for oil and gas leases.
According to an article in the Salt Lake Tribune Utah’s two Republican U.S. Senators called it a “bait and switch”. That is laughable considering that those wilderness lands belong to the public and not to the oil and gas industry.
Lee Peacock, executive director of the Utah Petroleum industry, is quoted in the November 15th Salt Lake Tribune article:
“It’s disappointing. Leasing is the life blood of the oil and gas industry,” Peacock said. “Leasing is just the beginning of a long process. There are numerous opportunities for public input and regulatory analysis that goes into a particular parcel before it can ever be developed.”
The life blood of Utah depends on outdoor recreation and travel industry which generates 7 billion dollars in annual revenue for the state. That industry would suffer greatly with the development of oil and gas drilling in these wilderness areas.
I applaud Juan Palma’s decision to pull the wilderness acreage from this years auction within the San Rafael are in Emery County. Well done.
Salt Lake Tribune: San Rafael Swell land yanked from Utah oil and gas auction
Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance: More great news! Wild lands in San Rafael Swell won’t be leased!
Deseret News: BLM pulls controversial San Rafael Swell parcels