Saturday, July 31, 2021


Educators' unions call for efforts to ensure in-person learning keeps students, teachers, families, and staff safe; and an update on hate crimes by state.


Congress passes Capitol security funding; House Freedom Caucus members want Cheney, Kinzinger out of GOP conference; Schumer closes a deal to advance $3.5 trillion reconciliation package; and a new report says investor-owned utilities try to block rooftop solar.

Critics Warn New BLM Leases in Utah Could Impact Rare Cultural Sites


Thursday, March 22, 2018   

SALT LAKE CITY – The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has paved the way for oil and gas drilling on more than 51,000 acres of public lands in southeastern Utah this week, by selling leases for areas close to Canyons of the Ancients, Bears Ears and Hovenweep National Monuments - best known for Native American cultural heritage sites, high densities of ruins, rock art, and other artifacts.

According to Aaron Weiss, media director for the Center for Western Priorities, it is a move consistent with actions taken since Ryan Zinke took the reins as U.S. Secretary of the Interior.

"He has given the oil and gas industry absolutely everything they want, while ignoring the impacts to the environment, ignoring impacts to tribal nations, ignoring impacts to the folks on the ground who live around oil and gas development," Weiss charged.

Weiss' group has identified 24 policies favored by the oil and gas industry, and found that since President Donald Trump has been in office, 22 have either been completed, are underway or slated for action.

Zinke has defended moves to clear the way for oil and gas development, citing the administration's priority of achieving energy dominance.

Mining and drilling are not explicitly prohibited on the lands leased by the BLM. But Weiss said the agency, charged with managing public lands for multiple uses, shouldn't prioritize development over protecting rare archeological sites.

He added that extraction companies already are sitting on more leases than they know what to do with, primarily due to low oil and gas prices.

"Why is it worth the risk of offering up these incredibly fragile areas in southern Utah, when there's so much else out there that is appropriate for drilling, that they're not even bidding on?" he asked.

Conservation groups have filed a protest over the BLM's determination that oil and gas development in the region would have "no adverse effect." The leases won't become official until the challenge is resolved by the agency or in court.

get more stories like this via email

In addition to roof repairs and other home improvements to lower utility bills, a Michigan League for Public Policy report recommends expanding utility-shutoff protections to include households with young children. (Adobe Stock)


LANSING, Mich. - High utility costs are a major burden for Michigan's low-income residents, and a new study says they have an impact on their health…


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A new report shows an effort by investor-owned utilities in the Sunshine State to block the growth of rooftop solar. The …

Health and Wellness

By Troy Pierson / Broadcast version by Mary Schuermann reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration. As marijuana becomes more …

Across the United States, 46 states have laws allowing for harsher punishment for crimes based on bias. (Ludk/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

SALT LAKE CITY - With rising numbers of people targeted in hate crimes and related violence, a new report analyzes the hate-crime laws in each state…

Social Issues

BOSTON - Educators' unions are calling on the state to support their efforts to ensure in-person learning in the fall keeps students, teachers…

According to AARP Connecticut, 47% of family caregivers have had at least one financial setback, such as having less money for retirement or savings, or cutting back on their own healthcare spending. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

HARTFORD, Conn. - In Connecticut, more than 460,000 people care for close friends or family members who can't manage on their own - and their …

Social Issues

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Millions of Americans soon could find eviction notices on their front doors, but New Mexico renters will not be among them - as …

Health and Wellness

CONCORD, N.H. - New Hampshire advocates for affordable healthcare access want Congress to lower prescription costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021