Salazar Scraps Sale of Oil-and-Gas Leases in Utah

February 4, 2009 - 4:29 PM
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says he's scrapping the lease of dozens of parcels of federal land for oil and gas drilling in Utah's redrock country.
Salt Lake City (AP) - Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says he's scrapping the lease of dozens of parcels of federal land for oil and gas drilling in Utah's redrock country.
 
Salazar says the Bush administration rushed an auction in December of some of the country's most precious landscapes around national parks and the wild Green River.
 
Salazar on Wednesday ordered the Bureau of Land Management, which is part of the Interior Department, not to cash checks from winning bidders for the parcels at issue in a lawsuit filed by environmental groups.
 
A federal judge last month put the sale of the 77 parcels on hold. Now Salazar is saying he won't sell any of them - at least not until the Obama administration has a chance to take a second look.