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Uphold Oil Exploration

US court blocks oil exploration in Utah park.

A federal court has upheld a temporary halt to oil exploration in a Utah national park.

The suit charged that the land management bureau, by approving the exploration activity, violated the National Environmental Policy Act.

Last year, the Bush administration issued leases for oil, gas and coal exploration on 4 million acres of federal land, up from 2.6 million in 2000.

The exploration was in the canyon lands of the Dome Plateau region outside of Moab, Utah. It encompasses more than 23,000 acres of lands that provide habitat for several threatened or endangered species.