Submission Number: UBR-DEIS-00075
Received: 12/2/2020 7:05:56 PM
Commenter: Ed Long
Initiative: Uinta Basin Railway EIS
Attachments: No Attachments
I support the Board's approval of the Uinta Basin Railway EIS with any appropriate modifications that results from the public comment period. The draft EIS thoroughly addresses the potential environmental, cultural and safety concerns along with appropriate mitigations. I do not support extending the public comment period. This process has been transparent and public for most of the year. Ample time for those wanting to provide input to do so during the current public comment period. I've been part of a management team trying to raise capital ($300M) for a Uinta Basin energy startup for the past 2 years. We've met with 20+ capital providers during that period. Most recognized the tremendous potential for development the Basin provides. The Basin is unique and has the potential to compete economically with most other US basins. The deal killer in every negotiation was the oil takeaway and price differentials due to the SLC refinery being the only option for Basin oil. For the Uinta Basin and it's communities to benefit from the Basins large resources, connecting to national markets has to happen. The clearest option to access these markets is rail. Under the requirements of an approved EIS, the Uinta Basin Railway can be constructed safely while minimizing environmental impacts. It will eliminate the largest barrier to increased long term investment in the Basin. The railway will stimulate a very challenging economy, bring jobs to the basin, infuse funds into the community's schools and infrastructure, bring business to local merchants. It will provide additional commerce beyond energy that will benefit our communities in the long run and make the economy less dependent on oil price cycles. Moving crude by rail is a much safer, environmentally friendly transportation mode that trucking. The Uinta Basin currently transports ~ 90,000 bbls of oil a day using ~ 500 trucks per day traveling on HWY 40 and 191. The safety, environmental and wildlife impacts associated with transporting by truck far outweigh rail. Please move this project forward by timely approval of the EIS.