Anyone within the state of Utah, Arizona or Colorado (and everyone else who concerns themselves with environmental issues) has heard the uproar as of late. The government has begun to auction off 148,598 acres of federal land to energy companies look to expand exploration and possible mining operations in hope to increase gas and mineral production.
Some see this as a bad thing, and some don't really care. In any case, it tend to polarize the masses, and defines where people stand on these sorts of issues. Some people think that this massive land auction could be the "death of the Colorado River" (see Abrahm Lustgarten's article on sandiego.com). Opponents such as Robert Redford and other activists has jumped on the bandwagon of "environmentalism", while the national government and even the BLM has come out to defend the decision to open the land up. Rep. Brian Baird, D-Wash., said, "It's a little bit like someone telling you they're going to rob only part of your house. It is a final insult from an administration that has done so much to destroy this country."
I think both sides have some legitimate issues. The government almost sold some vital pieces of land that border such famous places as Dinosaur National Monument and Delicate Arch in Arches National Park. I see no good reason why they would want someone drilling within eyesight of these wonderful natural landscapes. The rest however is fair game. It could stimulate the local economy and start to decrease foreign dependancy on oil.
As usual, its tough to take sides, since I see flaws in both arguments. And, as usual, the most probable solution lies somewhere in the middle.