08 Mar CHC Publishes 2012 Annual Report
March 8, 2013
The Citizens for a Healthy Community 2012 annual report is available for viewing and printing online, and outlines many of our notable achievements in 2012. I’d also like to mention some of our biggest victories, which have occurred in the last few weeks.
As you know, the BLM again attempted to lease thousands of acres of North Fork Valley public lands for oil and gas drilling on February 14. For the second time, we won a deferral of these leases! This is not the end of the fight about leasing these public lands, but it buys us precious time to work out a permanent solution to protect them from the threats of oil and gas development.
When BLM initially announced its intent to lease these lands in December 2011, Citizens for a Healthy Community worked with our partners at the Western Environmental Law Center to file a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the identities of those who wanted to drill on these lands and had nominated them for leasing. When the government denied our request, we exhausted the appeals process and then filed a lawsuit against the BLM and Department of Interior that challenged the agency’s secretive practice of withholding this information from the public.
On February 13, 2013 Federal District Court Senior Judge Richard P. Matsch handed down a precedent setting ruling in our favor. This decision will help communities across the west who are fighting oil and gas leasing on public lands. Judge Matsch ordered the BLM to release the identifying information to us within 30 days. While it’s possible that the agency can appeal, their weak legal argument isn’t likely to overturn Judge Matsch’s ruling in the 10th Circuit.
It’s because of the tremendous support we’ve received from the community that we’re able to keep up the pressure against irresponsible oil and gas development. Thanks to you, we had a successful 2012 and we’re in a great place to do what’s needed to ensure permanent protection for these lands, and continue to watchdog other oil and gas development in the Delta County Region. We look forward to your continued support as we keep up the fight.
Jim Ramey, Director
Citizens for a Healthy Community