Conservation groups have filed a formal administrative protest challenging a Bureau of Land Management plan to auction about 5,700 acres of federal fossil fuels in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas for fracking. The protest, filed late Friday, came a day after the U.S. Forest Service, responding to the concerns of conservation groups and local officials, withdrew 31,169 acres of national forest lands in Texas from the same auction, slated for April 20 in Santa Fe, N.M.

“Fracking for federal fossil fuels harms our air, water, land, wildlife and climate,” said Wendy Park of the Center for Biological Diversity. “Failure to notify residents that fracking could destroy their drinking water is yet another reason that President Obama should immediately halt the practice of leasing public lands for oil and gas drilling.” The protest calls on the Bureau of Land Management to withdraw the remaining parcels from April’s auction because of fracking threats to public health, air, land, wildlife and water — including earthquakes.

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