2 years in prison and $10,000 fine. nope, that’s not the sentence for a violent crime. it’s the sentence that climate activist tim dechristopher faces for raising the paddle at a lease auction for oil and gas drilling rights on utah public lands.
in 2008, it seemed as if then-president bush (illegally?) rushed to auction off the environmentally sensitive land before leaving office. dechristopher, an economics student at the time, decided to take action and disrupt this sale of public land to fossil fuel corporations. he joined the bidding, raised the prices for some and was supposed to pay $1.8 million for 13 parcels, which he could not pay of course.
today, dechristopher was sentenced to two years in prison mostly to set an example and deter future activists from taking action to preserve our future. before his sentencing, dechristopher gave some interviews, which can be found here and here.
in his address to the court, dechristopher explained “my intent both at the time of the auction and now was to expose, embarrass and hold accountable the oil and gas industry, to point that it cut into their $100-billion profits.” he said further: “you have authority over my life, but not my principles. those are mine,” and “i’ll continue to confront the system that threatens our future.”