|Tim DeChristopher Throws Utah Oil And Gas Drilling Leases Auction Into Chaos|
An environmental activist tainted an auction of oil and gas drilling leases Friday by bidding up parcels of land by hundreds of thousands of dollars without any intention of paying for them, a federal official said.
The process was thrown into chaos and the bidding halted for a time before the auction was closed, with 116 parcels totaling 148,598 acres having sold for $7.2 million plus fees.
"He's tainted the entire auction," said Kent Hoffman, deputy state director for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Utah.
Hoffman said buyers will have 10 days to reconsider and withdraw their bids if they think they paid too much.
Tim DeChristopher, a 27-year-old University of Utah economics student, said his plan was to disrupt the auction and he feels he accomplished his goal.
DeChristopher won the bidding on 13 parcels, auction records show, and drove up the price of several other pieces of land.
"I thought I could be effective by making bids, driving up prices for others and winning some bids myself," the Salt Lake City man said.
Some bidders said they were forced to bid thousands of dollars more for their parcels, while others fumed that they lost their bids...
My wish for the Holiday Season is that Tim DeChristopher has a lot of donations to help his legal fund and the federal court drags this into the Obama Administration.
We will know right away if Obama will fight for what is environmentally right! And when Ken Salazar gets confirmed if he will fight big corporations and not let them exploit the U.S. Bureau of Land Management!