Utah Money Shouldn’t Go to the Uinta Basin Railway

Deeda Seed with the Center for Biological Diversity and John Weisheit also wrote an Op-Ed published in the Salt Lake Tribune this week, bluntly addressing the misuse of state fund to built the Uinta Basin Railway – funding that is supposed to be used to support projects for Utah communities, including fire trucks, flood control, road construction projects, and community centers.

Utahns can raise their voices. A public comment period on a new federal environmental analysis ends Jan. 28.

Photo by Global One Transport Since 2014, the Price River Terminal in Wellington has been trans-loading oil from trucks to rail cars, opening a new path for Uinta Basin crude to reach out-of-state markets. It shipped about 7,500 barrels a day to Houston-area refiners in 2018.

What would $28 million buy for the people of Uintah County? Fire trucks, flood control and road construction projects for starters. Ditto for Duchesne County residents, and throw in a community center, baseball fields and sewer lines.

Utah’s Permanent Community Impact Board has dedicated public funds to support these much-needed projects, but in recent years the board has taken a wrong turn. It’s handed over nearly $28 million in public money to the Seven County Infrastructure Coalition in hopes of ramming an 88-mile railroad through these rural counties and significantly increasing fossil-fuel extraction in the Uinta Basin.

Now that wrong turn looks like a dead end, with some of Utah’s hardest-hit communities paying the price.


Read full Op-Ed here and raise your voice against the Uinta Basin Railway by submitting a comment here before January 28th: http://www.uintabasinrailwayeis.com/