An environmentalist protesting oil and gas leases on federal lands at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) headquarters in Lakewood, Colorado claims to have been deliberately hit by an SUV driven by a BLM-contracted auctioneer, but local police say the event was likely “staged.”
A group of demonstrators calling themselves Keep It in the Ground protested oil, gas, and coal extraction on federal lands at a November 12 BLM lease auction. As part of the demonstration, some protestors blocked the exit to the parking lot. After the auction ended, one of the protesters claimed to be struck by the auctioneer as he was leaving the event.
The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) sent a letter to BLM asking it to investigate the incident after the local police department closed its investigation of the claim and found no wrongdoing. CBD and RAN claim the alleged victim was hit in retaliation for the protest.
Environment and Energy Daily reports a spokesman for the Lakewood Police Department said their investigation including video’s taken by the protesters themselves show the incident was likely “staged.”
Protestors Resent Cheap Gas
Daniel Simmons, vice president for policy at the Institute for Energy Research, says cheap oil and gasoline prices have led some environmentalists to stage events such as the one in Lakewood.
“[Environmentalists] do not like it that oil is plentiful and families can more easily afford to fill up their gas tanks and drive to grandma’s house,” Simmons said. “Staging an apparently fake accident in Colorado in an effort to disrupt legitimate oil and gas lease auctions shows just how unhinged and desperate some environmentalists have become.”
United States Is Catalyst for Oil Production
Simmons says in 2008, oil prices hit $140 a barrel, but since then, prices have fallen to $30 a barrel. The reason for the price drop is there has been a massive increase in the global oil supply, largely due to the fracking revolution in the United States, which alone accounted for 83 percent of the increase in the global supply since 2008.
“New domestic oil production has been the real driver in achieving low oil prices and the Keep It in the Ground protesters cannot stand it,” Simmons said.
“Thank goodness these activists are finally being honest and admitting they dislike the use of energy,” Simmons said. “The use of natural gas, oil, and coal makes people’s lives better, but these activists oppose the benefits of affordable, reliable energy.”
Kenneth Artz ([email protected]) writes from Dallas, Texas.