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Colo. court weighs energy leases near Utah parks
Denver federal appeals court considers cancellation of Bush-era energy leases near Utah parks
By The Associated Press

DENVER (AP) ' A federal appeals court in Denver is considering the Obama administration's decision to cancel Bush-era oil and gas leases near national parks in Utah.

The case before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday involves leases near Arches and Canyonlands national parks and Dinosaur National Monument that were auctioned off in the final month of the President George W. Bush's administration. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar later canceled the leases and energy companies challenged his decision in court.

An environmental activist joined the auction and drove up prices with his bidding in what he said was an act of civil disobedience. Tim DeChristopher didn't have the $1.7 million to pay for the leases he won and was convicted and sentenced to two years in prison.

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