Utah Wilderness News, April 6, 2011

Bishop insistent on opening the floodgates of oil production

“Bishop, Republican congressman from Utah and chair of a subcommittee that oversees the use of federal lands, is flogging a bill that would micromanage Interior Department policies to demand that the government sell more leases, approve more drilling permits and fast-track unproven and highly risky sources such as oil shale — no matter how much damage it does to the nation that surrounds them.”  Editorial – The Salt Lake Tribune

Greater Canyonlands petition seeks to curb destructive ORV use

“The petition asks Ken Salazar, the Secretary of the Interior, to ban ORVs on over 1,000 miles of trails through sensitive habitat, streams, and archaeological sites outside the Park.  That may sound like a lot, but it isn’t – more than 14,000 miles of trails in the area would remain open. And yet closing just those 1,000 miles would make a huge difference. According to a recent SUWA email, ‘ORV use in the area has too frequently proven unmanageable, with increasing soil erosion, noise, crushed vegetation, degraded streams, and fragmented wildlife habitat… Giving heightened protection to the most valuable and vulnerable places will give these ecosystems their best chance at long term health, especially in an era of rapidly changing climatic and environmental conditions.’”  Read more – Change.org

Market trends determine the pace of oil exploration, not federal regs and ‘roadblocks’

“In reality, reasonable federal oversight is no match for the fundamental laws of supply and demand. It is the laws of the market that largely determine the pace of exploration and drilling on federal lands, just as they do on private lands. In response to the recession (caused in large part by deregulation of Wall Street) and large new supplies of natural gas from shale gas formations from Texas to New York (a glut encouraged by underenforcement of environmental rules), natural gas prices fell sharply in 2008 and have yet to recover. The collapse in prices drove down new drilling.”  Read more – The Wonk Room

Slashing conservation funding would be detrimental

“In the coming days, there is still time for the Senate to restore funding which has been lost for the 2011 fiscal year and to support continued conservation funding for 2012 and beyond.  There’s a saying in ranching that ‘if you take good care of the land, the land will take care of you.’ Now it is time for Congress and the private sector to do this for America’s lands and waters, too.”  Op-ed – The Salt Lake Tribune