When will Utahns come to their senses about the extremely polluting, often dangerous, destruction of our public lands caused by oil and gas extraction? The latest proposed atrocity before the BLM involves leasing public lands near Capitol Reef National Park.

The future for the oil and gas industry is bleak — as oil and gas energy sources become non-economic, they are being replaced by viable alternatives that can help meet energy demand without the dangerous impacts to public health. There are no socially redeeming reasons to continue extracting them, especially near our protected public lands like our national parks and national monuments.

In the midst of the largest rollback of public lands protection in U.S. — and Utah — history, wild places remain at the heart of the anti-public lands movement. If these leases go to sale, Utah residents and visitors lose big time. Sanity will prevail and should start now. The BLM should pull these parcels from the lease process to protect these precious lands, and protect public health and safety.

Stephen Bannister, Salt Lake City