Who is Bidder 70 and what does he have to do with us? He's Tim DeChristopher and he is us. He's an American who's gone to jail because big oil didn't like that he was threatening them -- by attending and bidding in open to the public auctions of government land, beautiful and pristine. And he was doing it to save that pastoral beauty for generations to come, the keep it free from oil rigs and fracking.
On December 19, 2008 Tim DeChristopher attended a highly Utah BLM Oil and Gas lease auction. Tim entered the auction hall and registered as bidder #70. He outbid industry giants on land parcels (which, starting at $2 an acre, were adjacent to national treasures like Canyonlands National Park), winning 22,000 acres of land worth $1.7 million before the auction was halted.
Within two months Interior Secretary Ken Salazar invalidated the auction. He had just been sworn in and this was one of his first actions. Think he got some lobbyist money? Probably. But what DeChristopher got was indicted on two federal felonies with penalties of up to 10 years in prison and $750,000 in fines.
After two years and nine postponements, his trial began on February 28, 2011. Outside the courtroom, hundreds rallied in solidarity with Tim. Inside, Judge Dee Benson disallowed every defense his lawyers put forth. After a five-day trial, DeChristopher was found guilty. His sentencing was scheduled for summer 2012.
On July 26th Tim was sentenced to two years in federal prison and removed immediately from court in chains.
Tim is serving the remainder of his sentence.
He did this for all of us. Why not take a look at the video trailer and see how our government is in bed with big oil and are out to crush anyone who gets in their way. We need to hold both the government AND big oil to blame for this. Get ready to become inflamed.