Uinta Basin Railway moving forward – send a message ASAP

Despite strong public opposition, serious environmental and health concerns, and a promise to reduce dependency on fossil fuels, the federal government recently gave the OK for the Uinta Basin Railway to move forward. The oil railway is set to quadruple oil output in Utah’s Uinta Basin. 

The court has unfortunately sided with the polluting project, throwing out a lawsuit contending the use of public dollars. One of our partners in multiple lawsuits is the Center for Biological Diversity. They have started a petition for the public to call on the Biden Administration to withdraw approval for the Uinta Basin Railway. After you sign the petition, they’ve made it easy to send Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, a letter of opposition as well. 

“The Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club and Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment are among the conservation groups that opposed the plan, arguing that the railway will result in 350,000 more oil barrels a day, or 53 million tons of annual carbon pollution. They filed an objection to the project on Forest Service land at the end of last year” a KSL article on the railway wrote.

Utahns concerned about environmental health are often dismissed by state government officials and rely heavily on the federal government to step in and protect us from polluting projects such as this one. The Biden Administration must be held accountable for breaking their promises to take bold action on climate change. 

Colorado has stood by residents in the fight against the oil railway due to its potential impact on their resources. “An oil spill in the Colorado River headwaters would be catastrophic to our state’s water supplies, wildlife habitat, and outdoor recreation assets,” they wrote in a July 13 letter to the Biden administration. “We simply cannot afford the risk of an oil train derailment in these sensitive areas that are already recovering from crippling disasters, which are only projected to become more frequent and severe.”

The federal government had the ability to block rail access across Ashley National Forest.

Sign the petition here.

Read KSL’s coverage.

Read the Salt Lake Tribune’s coverage.