Bidder has raised $14,000 to hold Utah drilling parcels |

Bidder has raised $14,000 to hold Utah drilling parcels

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

SALT LAKE CITY ” The University of Utah student who disrupted an oil and gas drilling lease auction last month says he has raised $14,000 of the $45,000 he needs to pay the federal Bureau of Land Management to hold 13 parcels he won.

Tim DeChristopher won the parcels and ran up the bidding on others in an effort to foil the Dec. 19 auction, which drew controversy from the start because of concerns the drilling could damage Utah’s wild lands and would be too close to some national parks.

DeChristopher said he never had any intention to develop or pay for the parcels.

But DeChristopher says he hopes putting up the money to hold the land will stall drilling until President-elect Barack Obama takes office, when new officials will be in charge at the BLM and the Interior Department.

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