SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A federal appeals court has upheld U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's decision to suspend 77 oil and gas parcels sold in Utah in the final year of the Bush administration.
The Denver-based U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals said bidders missed a 90-day deadline to file a lawsuit against the federal government.
It was the same auction where a Utah environmental activist jumped into the bidding to protest the sales and safeguard parcels around national parks.
Tim DeChristopher is now serving two years in federal prison for disrupting the December 2008 auction in Salt Lake City.
Several environmental groups went to court to freeze many of the drilling leases sold at the auction. Salazar followed up by suspending 77 parcels and denying them to winning bidders.
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