Public scoping begins on Uinta Basin Railway

The Uinta basin railway will be devastating to the planet and the people. 

Submit a written comment

OEA will accept public scoping comments through August 5, 2019

The easiest way to submit your written comments is via the “Submit Comments” tab at http://www.uintabasinrailwayeis.com/.

This was written by the center for Biological diversity:

Uinta Basin Railway Comment Writing Guide

Background:

  • The proposed Uinta Basin Railway oil train would increase production of oil from the Uinta Basin by between 225,000 and 350,000 barrels of oil per day. In a region that currently only produces around 80,000 barrels per day, this would represent a quadrupling of oil extraction, which would have dire consequences for air quality, public lands, water, and global warming. The construction and operation of the railway itself would also have major impacts. Three possible routes have been identified, but the 80-mile Indian Canyon route has been identified as the preferred option and is most likely to be constructed. At least $27.9 million in public funds have already been illegally dedicated to forward the project and the ultimate cost of the railway would be at least $1.2 billion. Maps and additional information can be found at: http://www.uintabasinrailwayeis.com/
    • Static maps of the three routes can be found in this document and if you have Google Earth, you can view the routes on an interactive map by opening these files.
  • For more background on the Uinta Basin Railway, check out this op-ed: https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2018/12/23/commentary-cib-should/

Major Concerns:

  • Air pollution in the Uinta Basin has already reached dangerous levels due to oil and gas development. By quadrupling oil extraction in the region, the railway would exacerbate this problem, resulting in more asthma attacks and other harmful conditions that can lead to premature death.
  • The extraction and combustion of four times as much oil from the Uinta Basin would threaten our ability to avoid the most disastrous effects of climate change by staying under 1.5°C warming. 
  • Fossil fuel development requires large amounts of water. At a time when water security for the region is more tenuous than ever, increased oil development unleashed by the Uinta Basin Railway would threaten the region’s water supply.
  • The new development needed to create a fourfold increase in oil development in the Uinta Basin will result in major impacts to the region’s landscapes, including on public lands.
  • New oil train traffic will create increased inconvenience, air pollution, and risk of derailment in the communities through which the trains travel.
  • If the railway is constructed, but recoverable oil reserves in the Uinta Basin are exhausted before it is paid off, taxpayers could be left to cover the cost.
  • To date, there has been very little information about the Uinta Basin Railway provided to the public and little opportunity for public participation. The uncertainty around many details of the project is concerning and should be resolved before the project moves forward. 
  • Committing funds to constructing the Uinta Basin Railway is precluding efforts to transition away from boom-and-bust fossil fuel economies — which are susceptible to volatile global markets — and towards more stable, local, clean, sustainable, and just economies. 

How to Submit:

The easiest way to submit your written comments is via the “Submit Comments” tab at http://www.uintabasinrailwayeis.com/.

Public Scoping Meetings

OEA will hold six public scoping meetings in communities in the project area during the public comment period. The public scoping meetings will be held at the following locations on the dates listed.

  • Monday July 15, 2019, 3-5 p.m. at the Ute Tribal Auditorium, 910 South 7500 East, Fort Duchesne, Utah. Start Printed Page 28613
  • Tuesday July 16, 2019, 5-7 p.m. at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion, 640 E Victory Way, Craig, Colorado.
  • Wednesday July 17, 2019, 5-7 p.m. at the Carbon County Event Center, 450 S Fairgrounds Road, Price, Utah.
  • Thursday July 18, 2019, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Grace Event Center, 1024 W Highway 40, Roosevelt, Utah.
  • Thursday July 18, 2019, 5-7 p.m. at the Uintah Conference Center, 313 East 200 South, Vernal, Utah.
  • Friday July 19, 2019, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at Radisson Hotel Salt Lake City Downtown, 215 West South Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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