Agency auctions off moral high ground

by J Scott Christianson, Columbia Daily Tribune Columnist

Two weeks ago, the Bureau of Land Management — acting on orders from the Bush administration — rushed to auction off the drilling rights to nearly 150,000 acres of Utah wilderness adjacent to the Arches and Canyonlands national parks.

In fact, rushed is probably an understatement: The BLM was in such a hurry to get drilling rights transferred to the private sector that it left no time for public comment, no time for the local businesses dependent on parkland tourists to speak to the…