Uinta Basin Railway

See why UPHE opposes the $80 million subsidy for the Uinta Basin Railway.

The Uinta Basin Railway

The Forest Service recently gave the green light for the Uinta Basin Railway to go through 12 miles of Ashley National Forest. This decision would allow construction of the railway, aimed at increasing oil production and output. We urge you to hold the Biden Administration accountable on their commitment to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.

Recent News and Updates on the Uinta Basin Railway:

Read our comments on the use of Ashley National Forest for the rail extension project.

Nov. 8, 2021 Utah’s Oil Railway gets OK from Forest Service
Nov. 29, 2021 Op Ed: Utah governor should admit the Uinta Basin Railway’s grave risks
Dec. 20, 2021 Uinta Basin oil railway moving in the wrong direction
Feb. 15 2022 Lawsuit Targets Federal OK of Railway That Would Quadruple Oil Production in Utah’s Uinta Basin
Feb. 22 2022 Why is Colorado trying to block Utah’s proposed oil rail?

Good News!
September, 2023 – Enefit American Oil Abandons Lease to Mine Oil Shale in Utah’s Uinta Basin
(learn more about issues with Enefit here)
January, 2024 – Forest Service pulls the permit allowing the railway through Ashley National Forest

UPHE’s Stance on the Uinta Basin Railway

UPHE is part of the Stop the Uinta Basin Railway coalition, a group that opposes the Uinta Basin Railway oil train. You can read more about the proposed railway and why we joined the coalition at its website: www.StopUintaBasinRailway.com/

What the Uinta Basin Railway Would Mean

Fueled by nearly $28 million in public funds, the proposed Uinta Basin Railway is being pushed full steam ahead. Proponents claim the railway would cause oil extraction in Utah’s Uinta Basin to increase by between 130,000 to 350,000 barrels of oil per day—a spike of up to four times current levels in the basin or roughly 2.6 percent of total U.S. crude oil production. Construction of the 85-mile railway would have major impacts in and of itself.

However, the frenzy of new drilling and fracking it would purportedly induce would be even more catastrophic for the region’s air, water, wildlife and wildlands, and would cause a massive new release of greenhouse gases, exacerbating the ongoing climate crisis.

Check out the Environmental Impact Statement for the Uinta Basin Railway here: www.uintabasinrailwayeis.com

Please check out the site and sign the petition!

The proposed Uinta Basin Railway oil train is an issue that stands to greatly affect all Utahns. The railway would roughly quadruple production of oil in the Uinta Basin, resulting in dire consequences for air quality, public health, water quality, public safety, and climate change. We all deserve to breathe clean air. We need immediate action, we need to invest in Utah’s clean energy future rather than doubling down on the dirty fossil fuel industry.” Jonny Vasic, Executive Director UPHE

Despite the scale of the project and its potential consequences, public awareness of the Uinta Basin Railway is generally low and heavily colored by the proponents’ million-dollar PR campaign. That is why it is critical to stay educated and up to date on the status of the proposal.