Short Takes: "Bidder 70"
What happens when Utah college student bid $1.8 million at a federal oil lease auction with no intention of paying.
GAGE AND GAGE PRODUCTIONS
In the waning days of the George W. Bush administration, Utah college student Tim DeChristopher was angry about the ravaging of public lands by drilling companies, so he monkey-wrenched a federal oil lease auction, bidding $1.8 million for drilling rights with no intention of paying. Facing 10 years in federal prison (and ultimately receiving 2), DeChristopher became an overnight cause célèbre. In Bidder 70, a husband-and-wife documentary team delves into DeChristopher's personal history and taps a roster of activists, scientists, lawyers, and politicians to explore how civil disobedience plays into the modern environmental movement.
This review originally appeared in our November/December issue of Mother Jones.