A decision by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to open thousands of acres of public lands abutting national park properties in Utah could be halted by President-elect Barack Obama once he takes office, according to his transition team.
"They want to have oil and gas drilling in some of the most sensitive, fragile lands in Utah," John Podesta, who heads the transition team, said Sunday on a Fox network news show. "I think that's a mistake."
It was on Election Day when BLM officials in Utah announced they planned next month to offer 360,000 acres for oil and natural gas leases. Some of the proposed leases lie adjacent to or near Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Dinosaur National Monument.
Mr. Podesta did not say, however, how the incoming president could reverse any leases auctioned off by the BLM before he takes office.