On December 19th, 2009, Tim DeChristopher, a graduate student, posed as a bidder in a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) auction to sell over 100,000 acres of public land to oil and gas companies. He bid on and won over 22,000 acres of land before he was arrested.
The auction was organized by the Bush administration in the last days of their term and caused a lot of controversy among environmental organizations at the time. DeChristopher’s actions delayed the auction for over a month, by which time the Obama administration had come into office and found the auction illegitimate.
Unfortunately, the Obama Justice Department pressed charges on DeChristopher, even though they found the auction illegal. On March 3rd, 2011 DeChristopher was found guilty of interfering with the BLM auction and may face up to 10 years in prison. The sentencing will be held on June 23rd.
DeChristopher’s inspiring actions are an important part of this movement and should be applauded and mimicked.
Check out his website at www. bidder70.org.