On December 19, 2008 University of Utah student Tim DeChristopher disrupted an oil and gas lease auction, effectively saving thousands of acres of pristine Utah land slated for oil and gas drilling. Rather than protest outside, DeChristopher entered the auction hall and registered as bidder #70. He outbid oil industry representatives on land parcels (some of which, starting at $2 an acre, were adjacent to Canyonlands National Park), winning 22,000 acres of land worth $1.7 million before the auction was halted. DeChristopher was removed from the auction by federal agents and taken into custody, Prior to his 2011 trial, DeChristopher toured the country, speaking to crowds of thousands. He co-founded the environmental group Peaceful Uprising. He eventually served 21 months in prison, including time in solitary confinement. He is the subject of the award winning documentary film Bidder 70. He is now a nationally known climate activist and frequent speaker.
Tim DeChristopher, climate activist