Sundance Kid to the Rescue

Robert Redford joins environmentalists in suing the U.S. to keep drilling leases away from Utah parks
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Robert Redford joins environmentalists in suing the U.S. to keep drilling leases away from Utah parks

I don't know about you, but I'd certainly feel better about my cause if Jeremiah Johnson rallied with me. Actor Robert Redford has joined several environmental groups in suing the federal government to keep them from auctioning off 80 leases that would allow oil and gas drilling near Arches, Canyonlands, and Dinosaur National Monument.

Redford, a trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council, joined Rep. Brian Baird, D-Wash, via satellite to announce the lawsuit via news conference in Washington, D.C. Other groups involved in the suit include the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, The Wilderness Society, National Parks Conservation Association, Grand Canyon Trust, the Sierra Club and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Redford called the Bush administration "morally criminal" for announcing the sale of these controversial energy leases on Election Day and skipping the standard comment period. 

"No place on earth can speak to the balance of beauty and nature like these areas," Redford said.

The Bush administration has tried to push through several 11th-hour BLM land use allowances with potentially disastrous consequences. But maybe they'll think twice now that The Great Waldo Pepper has them in his sights.

—Ted Alvarez

Redford part of move to block oil, gas sales with lawsuits (Salt Lake Tribune)