Submission Number: UBR-DEIS-00267
Received: 1/5/2021 4:23:57 PM
Commenter: Riley Brinkerhoff
Organization: Wasatch Energy Management
Initiative: Uinta Basin Railway EIS
UBR-DEIS-00267-53788.docx Size = 77 KB
Download Adobe Reader
December 9, 2020
Mr. Joshua Wayland
Surface Transportation Board
c/o 9300 Lee Highway
Fairfax, VA 22031
ATTN: Environmental Filing, Docket No. FD 36284
Dear Mr. Wayland,
Wasatch Energy Management is a Utah based oil and gas producer that would greatly benefit from having better transportation options for the oil we produce. As you know, currently all produced oil is trucked over narrow highways, either over Indian Canyon Pass or Daniels summit, both at around 8,000’ elevation and subject to winter weather. Trucking is expensive, dangerous, creates significant emissions and causes travel delays for the general public on the only two significant highways linking the Uinta Basin with the rest of the state of Utah.
For our company, having a rail option would increase our revenue per barrel by 10%-25%. The railroad would be an absolute gamechanger for our company and our 22 employees. Moreover, other industries in the Uinta Basin, such as aggregate, gilsonite & phosphate mining, light manufacturing, the construction trade, and agriculture would all greatly benefit. Our highways would be safter and require much less slow, expensive, and dangerous construction.
It has been said often that the Uinta Basin is the largest geographic region in the lower 48 without rail service, which has been a serious drag on our local economies. Without the railroad, I see the highways continuing to be overloaded with semis hauling crude oil over steep mountain passes, and more fatalities resulting from motorists trying to pass in either poor conditions or with oncoming traffic. My cousin Ronson McKee lost his mother in just such an accident. I see local businesses continuing to struggle, and most of our children continuing to move elsewhere for employment. If you would like any additional information about any of the above information, please do not hesitate to call me on my cell at (406) 839-1375.
[See original attachment for identical text.]