In a change of tone, Utah governor Gary Herbert has backpedaled and asked the federal government not to allow oil and gas drilling around the famous park

When Utah governor Gary Herbert changed his mind last week and decided oil and gas companies should not be allowed to drill near Zion national park, it seemed like like a remarkable change of tone.

The Republican has been a staunch advocate for rolling back public land protections and had earlier endorsed the idea of drilling near the 229 sq mile park. In February, he signed a resolution urging President Trump to rescind national monument status for the 1.3 million acres known as Bears Ears in south-eastern Utah. Doing so would allow expansion of current leases for oil and gas development and grazing.

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