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Court Blocks Environmentalist's 'Necessity Defense' From Oil and Gas Lease Trial

By Joel Zand on November 17, 2009 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A federal judge in Utah ruled that a defendant accused of tampering and falsely bidding upon oil and gas leases offered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management cannot present a 'necessity defense' a/k/a 'lesser of two evils defense' at trial.

Timothy DeChristopher sought to argue that his submission of winning auction bids on BLM federal oil and gas leases that he never intended to honor was justified because, he maintained, extracting oil and gas from federal lands would exacerbate global warming and climate change.

You can read the U.S. District Court's new opinion and order granting the government's motion denying DeChristopher's attempt to present a 'necessity defense' here:


You can watch Tim DeChristopher's speech outside federal court his arraignment in April 2009 here:


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