Comments about ‘Formal trial date set for environmental activist Timothy DeChristopher’

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Published: Tuesday, Nov. 16 2010 12:03 p.m. MST

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OHBU
Columbus, OH

Good for DeChristopher. It's always nice to see someone willing to stick their neck out for a cause they believe in, without hurting anyone else. Without putting anyone else at risk or doing any real harm to anyone or anything, he may have actually effected change and definitely drew attention to potential issues of corruption. He's a brave person.

Sabrecat
South Jordan, UT

Throw the book at him. Regardless of motives he perpetrated a fraud and as such needs to pay the price for his crime.

Pragmatist
Salt Lake City, UT

How exactly are the ends of justice served by denying his right to a speedy trial for two years? Did those silly Constitution writers not know what they were talking about when they insisted on a right to a speedy trial?

Question
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I don't know that your assumption that "nobody was harmed" is completely accurate.

Sure nobody was physically injured, but there are often no physical injuries when laws are broken. Theft, Burglary, Fraud, Financial Scams, etc.... don't harm people PHYSICALLY... but there ARE dammages.

There were financial damages. Now the people who had winning bids have NO IDEA what the actual price for the lease WOULD HAVE BEEN.... had DeChristopher not been competing with them, bidding up the price, knowing he could bid ANYTHING he wants, because he's going to walk out without paying.

That's fraud and theft by deception, plain and simple.

Pretend you were bidding to buy a house, land, or a car... and some dope just keeps topping your bid, no matter what! You really want it so you keep bidding... and maybe even have the winning bid... then later you learn the guy bidding up the price had no skin in the game! He was just playing around, and had no intention of paying his bids!

So you have no idea what the car, realestate, etc, would have actually cost you IF that guy hadn't commited this fraud.

There WERE financial_damages.

AlanSutton
Salt Lake City, UT

This is a great story to demonstrate that individuals need not take the law into their own hands to make changes in government policy but rather should work through normal government and political processes to effect the desired change.

DeChristopher claims he had to disrupt the bidding process in order to protect the environment. But two months later, the Interior Secretary decided -- without DeChristopher's help -- to stop the lease sales. The Secretary's actions, which were taken in the normal processes of government, made it so that DeChristoper's actions were not a "necessity," as he claims.

I hope we can all learn from this needless episode.

William A
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Leftists believe if they disagree with a law they have the moral right to disobey it - not only disobey it, but avoid consequences for doing so, because their moral judgement is superior to laws passed by the agents of "Amerikkkan voters."

Where as a conservative, if I broke a law favored by leftists, they would throw the book at me - just prior to throwing me under a bus, over a cliff, and into a fire.

DeChristopher broke the law. Time for him to pay the price.

By the way, excellent reporting, Amy, and a remarkably balanced piece.

UtahManDan
Providence, UT

If he was a brave person he would be a man and accept responsibility for his crime.

Mr.Reality
Salt Lake City, UT

DeChristopher is just another ignorant, delusional extremist. Does he understand (or even care) that 95% of electricity in the state of Utah is generated by coal-fired power plants? Or that most homes and businesses are heated with natural gas? And that these energy sources cannot be replaced anytime soon? And even when they can be replaced, it will cost billions of dollars and take many years, if not decades, to make the transition? Throw the book at him as an object lesson for all like-minded and self-appointed whackos......

Duckhunter
American Fork, UT

I hope this clown does some serious time in prison.

Question
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I hope this guy is doing his OWN PART... driving a Chevy VOLT.

He wore a coat with fur trim to his first court appearance. Oops!

He's a POSER... not a HERO!

Postings like "OHBU | 12:20 p.m." above prove that there are still a LOT of Exremists who think "The ends_justifies_the_means".

I just hope the NEXT extremist doesn't decide that even if physical harm to others is involved... the ends STILL justifies_the_means...

That's this "Ends_justifies_means" extremist_mindset that produces results like Timothy McVeigh, ALF, Weather Underground, SDS, Black Panthers, etc.

DeChristopher's actions didn't result in deaths or physical harm. But it was a step in that direction of "Extremism/Radicalism" for his cause.

All he had to do was convince himself that the ends REALLY justifies the means... whether people get harmed or not for his extremist_agenda... and take the next_step. And we would have another Timothy McVeigh.

How about we drop the "Ends_justifies_the_means" type thinking???

Protest, give speaches, sit_ins, do ALL that... but you are NOT above the law (no matter HOW radicalized you have become in advancing your cause).

couragous
Salt Lake City, UT

For someone who has not gone to trial is free to do what he wants to do and get news media attention. For what I understand in reading, he has now cause the Oil & Gas company from not bidding on parcels to seek oil & gas development. Currently, BLM has stop any more bidding because of this clown. I do mean clown with his own show and showing off. He got my vote some serious time in prison college boy......

OHBU
Columbus, OH

To all those lamenting all the harm he has done, I see your point...poor big oil having to pay dimes on the dollar for public land instead of pennies...I feel really terrible.

Allan - do you really think the interior secretary's decision to suddenly withdraw the lots after this story broke and became news was completely unrelated to the attention drawn to it?

Mr. Reality - of course he realizes how much of our energy comes from non-renewable sources...that's the point. As long as we take the approach that we can just compromise a little bit more of the earth to find more energy, the problem will never be solved. Necessity drives innovation...if our country were faced with the reality that it couldn't rely on drill, baby, drill, I'm confident the timeline for restructuring our energy sources would hasten considerably.

As to the ends justifying the means...that depends on the means. Interesting you advocate sit-ins but not this (both are illegal, btw). The possible ends are thousands-less acres of our environment spoiled unnecessarily...the means was that he "bought" properties without being able to pay for them.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

OHBU

Are you sure the mutual funds you hold in your retirement accounts hold no oil company securities? Even if you are sure about your own, how about your friends and neighbors?

how about the poor schmuck who worked in the equipment industry who saw his hours cut back because the oil companies lost these bids to a fraudster?

How about the waitress in the local cafe who had her hours cut and saw lower tips as a result of less oil production?

Another article in this paper talked about $30 milliom pumped into the economy by the construction of two wind farms. You honestly think oil production does not pump money into the local economy?

And what about the royalties the federal government will not collect as a result?

It's easy for you to demonize "big oil" when you remove the face of the many small investors and employees, not only those working for oil companies, but those working in support industries.

As for the iconic scenary, you can see trucks driving along I-70 from the Devils Garden area of Arches; I guess we should then shut down I-70.

carman
Midland, MI

Tim DeChristopher is exactly what you get when you process young, liberal leaning minds through the socialist/marxist UofU economics program. And DeChristopher is unbelievably naive to think that his actions did anything to prevent "a dependence on fossil fuels". Utah doesn't even produce a single drop in a giant bucket relative to major producers in the Middle East, Canada, Russia, Venezuela, etc.

DeChristopher is a leftist idealog who is tilting at windmills, while perpetuating crimes that do well more harm than he is trying to avert. His disrespect for the rule of law, a value that has made this country great, is the real threat, not the minute additional hyrdocarbon extraction that he so greatly fears.

He would do more good if he would just be a law-abiding citizen, rather than break laws and cause economic harm to his fellow countrymen.

Gladys1948
Salt Lake City, UT

Even if Tim ends up in jail, he has done us all a favor.

Those parcels were illegally put on the market and were sold for way less than they were worth to oil companies who knew how to work the system. Oil companies are making record profits while still paying their employees pennies. It's not the oil company employees who are suffering...unless they're out on a rig in the ocean and getting blown up by BP's commitment to profit.

If anyone would read Tim's stance on why he did this, they would realize he is more for the values of the Constitution and the Real Right than any of you lazy citizens who's gut reaction when seeing the word "environmentalist" is to scream Leftist.

The farce is that these auctions were valid and in the best interest of the people. The Government is pulling the wool over your eyes.

Tim did you all a favor and you can't even see through your party lines to recognize that.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Gladys,
if it was illegal why did Salazcar put the vast majority of them back on the market?

It was an open auction, available to any interested bidders. It wasn't some rigged, below-market back-room deal. How do you think this crook ended up there in the first place?

As far as reading his "stance", ever hear of Korihor? he was able to convince many that what he said, though horribly wrong, was right.

The same can be said of Marx. His writings convinced many, but his theories have failed wherever they've been tried.

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