I first visited southern Utah in the mid-1980s and was overwhelmed by the region. I now call this area home and still cannot comprehend the intense solitude, silence and darkness.

But, on a nighttime trip to Dead Horse Point in 2002, my eyes were assaulted by a flaring gas well, blazing like an explosion on the border of Canyonlands. To me, this symbolized Dick Cheney giving the middle finger to an incredible place he would never try to understand.

Now, in the same area just north of Canyonlands, thousands of acres are slated to become the next sacrifice zone in Trump’s quest for “energy dominance.” These public lands, along with large chunks of land near Arches, Capitol Reef and Bears Ears, are scheduled to be auctioned off for oil and gas leases this September.

More drilling, more burning, more warming, all for the endless growth that feeds our unsustainable economy.

The oil and gas industry, in cooperation with the Trump administration, is forcing their knee onto the neck of the planet. Make sure you stay involved with environmental organizations to oppose this next round of giveaways to the oil industry. It is time to let the Earth breathe.

Harry Holland, Castle Valley