BLM officials have been very busy advising concerned citizens that, honestly, they really won’t drill for oil in their backyards, despite the fact that 600 acres of private, developed land are due to be auctioned off for lease on Dec. 19 for that very purpose.
I was told that no one could drill in the Cedar Hills parcel areas because there is no oil and gas exploration drilling allowed on federal lands that are watershed (which most of the Cedar Hills lease is) and that county zoning ordinances for private property prohibit drilling in rural residential areas (which the Cedar Hills lease area is).
If this is true, then why did the local BLM allow these parcels to be included in the lease package? And who requested they be included and why?
The BLM is giving no such assurances for the sensitive lands adjacent to and nearby Arches National Park, the Colorado River, Mill Creek Canyon, Negro Bill Canyon, Monitor and Merrimac, Tusher Canyon, Bartlett Wash and several other exceptionally beautiful areas that contribute to the unique grandeur of our redrock country and sustain the tourist industry.
Who requested these leases and why?
Drilling on federal lands in the West over the last 15 years or so has produced an average of 3.6 days per year of oil – only 3.6 days per year! As of 2006, Utah had 1 million acres in production out of 4.6 million under lease. At the very least, we must require the oil companies to use the 3.6 million acres leased but not in production before giving them new lands.