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Obama to cancel oil & gas leases near national parks

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The Bush administration leased out land in the final days but fortunately there is going to be a review to see if this makes sense for everyone and not just the oil and gas industry. It's going to take years to undo the problems left by the Bush administration but it's encouraging to see that Obama is taking action on a number of fronts.

In its first action to overturn Bush administration policies on energy, the Obama administration on Wednesday said it will cancel oil drilling leases on more than 130,000 acres near two national parks and other protected areas in Utah.

"In the last weeks in office, the Bush administration rushed ahead to sell oil and gas leases near some of our nation's most precious landscapes in Utah," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told reporters. "“We need to responsibly develop our oil and gas supplies to help us reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but we must do so in a thoughtful and balanced way that allows us to protect our signature landscapes and cultural resources."

"We will take time and a fresh look at these 77 parcels to see if they are appropriate for oil and gas development," he said, adding that the Bureau of Land Management will return the $6 million in bids from an auction last December.

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