Environmental groups protest up-coming BLM fracking lease auction in Wyoming

Wyoming — Conservation groups filed a formal administrative protest on Friday challenging a Bureau of Land Management plan to auction off 139 square miles of publicly owned fossil fuels in Wyoming on Aug. 2. Most of the area, about 100 square miles, is located in habitat for greater sage grouse. The protest calls for canceling the auction entirely. “New fossil fuel leases lock in more climate disruption, more air and water pollution, and further declines for the iconic sage grouse,” said My-Linh Le of the Center for Biological Diversity. “Plans that worsen the climate crisis and sage grouse declines aren’t in the public interest. Climate leadership means keeping untapped fossil fuels in the ground, and our public lands are where Obama should start.” The auction would lease out 50 parcels of land totaling more than 66,000 acres in the Wind River/Bighorn Basin and High Plains districts of the BLM. The protest, filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, Great Old Broads for Wilderness and the Sierra Club, calls on the BLM to halt the auction and all new federal fossil fuel leasing to "preserve any chance of averting catastrophic climate disruption." “We think it’s time for public lands to be part of the solutions to climate change, not part of the problem,” said Shelley Silbert, executive director of Great Old Broads for Wilderness. “Not only has the BLM failed to analyze impacts of new oil and gas extraction on Wyoming’s water, wildlife and public safety, but new leasing commits us to dangerous climate impacts for decades to come.” Read the full 32-page protest here . #county10 #reboot #springcity #dally #oilcity #county17 #news