In December 2009, Tim DeChristopher attended an auction held by the Bureau of Land Management at which they were to auction various parcels of land for oil & gas drilling. He was intending to protest, but when was asked if he wanted to bid, he saw the opportunity to do more. He bid successfully on several parcels.
Although the auction was later declared invalid because the Bureau of Land Management violated its own procedural guidelines, DeChristopher was charged with violating the federal law governing oil & gas leasing and with making false statements.
In July 2011, he was convicted of two felony charges and was sentenced to 2 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. His pre-sentencing statement argues why the conviction and the subsequent sentence are wrong. We’ve posted the full statement on this website because it makes so many important points about the way government works on behalf of corporate interests and harms people, the environment, and public health.
Once again, a courageous act of civil disobedience is punished by the government, in defiance of the Constitution government officers swear to uphold.