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Trial Begins for Activist Accused of Crashing Utah Drilling Auction

Tim DeChristopher, who bid $1.7 million for oil and gas leases he couldn't pay for, faces up to 10 years in prison in a trial expected to end Thursday

By Bibi van der Zee,

Feb 28, 2011
Tim DeChristopher speaking to the media

DeChristopher, referred to by both opponents and supporters as a "monkey wrencher" — a tribute to the 1975 Edward Abbey novel in which the protagonist appoints himself protector of the remaining desert regions of the American southwest and becomes a pioneer in the art of "eco-tage" — told the Guardian: "I was very nervous when I went in to the auction but when I won my first parcel I felt totally calm and peaceful. It felt like the first time my actions had really been in line with my sentiment. Up to that point I knew that climate change was a really huge issue, and yet in response to that I was riding my bike and writing letters to Congress."

The trial is scheduled to finish on Thursday.

Republished with permission.

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