White House in a hurry to open Utah lands to energy development


On Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management will release five of six long-range management plans that will open 80 percent of 11 million acres in southern and eastern Utah to oil and gas drilling and designate 20,000 miles of motorized recreation routes.

The actions of the lame-duck administration outrage conservationists, especially since the BLM's plans would have the force of statute for at least 10 years and would be difficult to alter.

The actual sale will be held the Friday before Christmas — "the bow atop the massive gift to the oil and gas industry we've seen for the last eight years," said Suzanne Jones, regional director of The Wilderness Society's Central Rockies office.