As expected, the Trump administration has gone all-in on its plans to flood southern Utah’s redrock country with oil and gas development.
If Trump’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) gets its way during its September 2020 oil and gas lease sale, new oil and gas wells could appear at the doorstep of Canyonlands, Arches, and Capitol Reef National Parks—as well as near Bears Ears National Monument, Labyrinth Canyon, Dead Horse Point State Park, the Green River, and in lands proposed for wilderness designation in America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act.
The September lease sale threatens to blanket southern Utah’s landscape of red rock canyons and natural arches with drill rigs, pipelines, and truck traffic—replacing the clean air, expansive vistas, quiet stillness, and sense of wildness with the sights and sounds of industrial development, all while expanding fossil fuel emissions that are driving the climate crisis.
And the size of this new lease sale is massive. At more than 114,050 acres across 77 separate parcels of public land, this is the largest lease sale seen in the area since the oil industry giveaways at the end of the George W. Bush administration with its December 2008 lease sale—which coincidentally also included 77 parcels.
The nature and scale of that Bush-era lease sale was so controversial that it prompted a lawsuit from conservation groups including SUWA that blocked the sale and led to long overdue and common sense reforms to the oil and gas leasing process.
The Trump administration threw out those reforms shortly after taking office, setting the stage for a repeat of the disastrous December 2008 lease sale.
Previously, Utah Governor Gary Herbert has shown a willingness to speak out against oil and gas leases that lie too close to Utah’s national parks, as many of these leases do. That’s why we’re asking you to take a few minutes today to call Governor Herbert and ask him to demand that the Trump administration abandon this rapacious plan for southern Utah.
When you call, tell him:
- To intervene and ask the BLM to cancel its inappropriate September lease sale for southern Utah, which threatens Utah’s magnificent parks and wild places.
- We should not sacrifice our national parks and wildlands for the sake of oil and gas development, especially when the world is awash in oil.
- His leadership in speaking out against inappropriate leasing around Dinosaur National Monument, Zion National Park, and Sand Flats Recreation Area was greatly appreciated.
In the coming weeks, we’ll also ask you to submit comments on the lease sale directly to the BLM.
And click here to take additional action by send sending a Letter to the Editor.
Thank you for taking action.