As reported in The Chronicle, brand new interior secretary Ken Salazar has asked his subordinates at the Bureau of Land Management to hold off on cashing those bonus checks that energy exploration companies have paid when they were awarded 116 land parcels in scenic Red Rock Country in southern
. (The Chron reports 77 parcels, but the Oil and Gas Journal has it at 116). Utah
Red Rock Country is surrounded on all sides by national parks and national forests, and is visited by hundreds of thousands of scenery appreciating tourists every year.
The Bush regime rushed through a lease sale late last year in a desperate attempt to circumvent what the voters all said at the polls loud and clear: Enough!
And now, all of that has come to a screeching halt.
The lease sale was heavily protested and suits were filed to stop the sale, and then to halt the finalization of the sale after the bids were opened on December 19th.
The largest bid was for Parcel 137, in the area near Vernal,
Oh, but then, look at this next photo, also taken in the Vernal area. See? the area has already been despoiled by thoughtless graffiti artists who can’t keep their artwork off of these scenic cliff faces.