Hugh Bollinger
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"Let us bid"

A fellow at the Property and Environmental Research Center in Bozeman, Montana, pushes the idea of letting the public bid on oil and gas leases. This would create more competition and create a fair price to pay for drilling, one that includes some externalities. And it would have kept Tim DeChristopher out of jail. The story first appeared here. It goes like this:
... open lease auctions have the potential to reduce much of the acrimony surrounding energy leasing on public lands. It would force bidders to consider the tradeoffs associated with other land uses and gives environmental groups an alternative to lobbying, litigation, and political jockeying to preserve important swaths of federal land.
Some of the leases DeChristopher won were cheap -- just a few dollars an acre. Enviros could easily come up with that kind of money. - RC
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