The oil and gas lease sales are governed by the Minerals Leasing Act of 1920 and the
Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Reform Leasing Act of 1987.To nominate a particular parcel of land for inclusion in an oil and gas lease sale, an
interested party can file either a formal nomination, or an “expression of interest” typically in theform of a letter to the BLM.2United States anticipates the defendant will present in support of his necessity defense presents a significant risk of improper jury nullification.Accordingly, the United States respectfully requests that the Court preclude thedefendant from presenting evidence at trial relating to a necessity defense and enter anappropriate order to govern the parties at trial.
The defendant Tim DeChristopher intentionally interfered with the competitive bidding process for federal oil and gas leases by bidding on leases that he had neither themeans nor the intention of purchasing. As a result, the integrity of the sale wascompromised; several bids were nullified and the final purchase price of others wasinflated. On April 1, 2009, a grand jury returned a two-count Indictment against thedefendant, charging him with (1) violating the Federal Onshore Oil and Gas LeasingReform Act, and (2) providing false statement.
A.Oil and Gas Lease Sales Generally
As regulated by law, each year the BLM conducts quarterly auctions for the sale of oil and gas leases on public lands. 30 U.S.C. § 226(b)(1)(A). The BLM or any
interested party may nominate parcels to be included in an auction sale. Nominations are
Case 2:09-cr-00183-DB Document 12 Filed 05/14/2009 Page 2 of 28