By John Rogers
The Bureau of Land Management has decided to proceed with the sale of oil and gas leases in Uintah County despite doubts from several quarters. Uintah County officials have joined the National Park Service and others in opposition to the energy development that abuts Dinosaur National Monument. The opponents fear that drilling activities will detract from the appeal of the national monument.
The 75 leases along the San Rafael Swell, which will be offered for sale online Dec. 11, encompass approximately 145 square miles. The BLM cited Pres. Donald Trump’s goal of increasing domestic energy production in making the announcement last week.
Gov. Gary Herbert has previously voiced concern about three specific lease parcels that abut the 330-square-mile Dinosaur National Monument. Herbert’s spokeswoman, Kirsten Rappleye, said the BLM had deferred action on two of the three parcels but that the third was one of the 75 that will be sold.