Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee introduce legislation that would empower the BLM to approve a land swap that could open the way for energy development on 20,000 acres in eastern Utah.
If passed, the bill would authorize the state and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to permit the State and Institutional Trust Lands Administration of Utah (SITLA) to relinquish 20,000 acres of school trust land in Grand County to the Ute Indian tribe in exchange for 20,000 acres of energy-rich land in Uintah County.
"To lower gas prices and free our nation from its overdependence on foreign oil, we must develop our domestic energy resources, including the vast supply of oil and natural gas we have right here in Utah," said Hatch. "This bill is win-win because it gives the Ute Tribe culturally sensitive land that it wants to protect from development in return for developable land that could bring significant revenues to SITLA that will benefit our public schools and students in Utah."