At a federal auction for oil and gas leases in Utah last week, environmental activist Tim DeChristopher posed as a buyer, successfully bidding up lease prices on BLM land by hundreds of thousands of dollars and winning 13 parcels that he admits he can’t actually pay for. The BLM is giving the other (real) bidders 10 days to decide if they want to withdraw their bids on the parcels they won at inflated prices. Some bidders indicated they would likely hold on to their leases despite the increased price since the incoming Obama administration may not offer the same leases again.

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