Submission Number: UBR-DEIS-00374 -- Oral Comment at Public Meeting
Received: 12/1/2020 12:00:00 AM
Commenter: Monica Hilding
Initiative: Uinta Basin Railway EIS
Attachments: No Attachments
Can you hear me now?
Okay.· My name is Monica Hilding.· Thank you for the opportunity to speak about
this project, although I have very little faith that public input is actually included in the decisions that ill be made on the Uinta Basin Railway.
As Covid-19 ravages the population, Utah legislators and County commissioners are taking advantage of this time of Zoom meetings to pass and promote all sorts of boondoggle projects.
The proposed railway is intended to facilitate the vast expansion of oil, gas and other fossil fuels in the Uinta Basin to distant markets. Without the railway, these fuels would have no place to go and thus would not be developed.· This increase in oil production, potentially four times the current amount, will contribute irreversibly to greenhouse gas emissions to climate change.
Our climate is already at a tipping point. We must not allow an expansion of fossil fuel development on this scale.· To add insult to injury, Seven County Infrastructure Coalition along with the community impact board want to use public money.· Under law, these funds are supposed to go to communities that have been negatively impacted by oil and gas development.· Instead, these commissioners want to waste this money to subsidize the oil and gas industry. It should instead be investing in alternative of economic development for these rural communities so they can be part of the solution to the climate crisis.
This is a very expensive project because the proposed route of the Uinta Basin Railway traverses roadless areas, steep canyons and rugged terrain, over 10,000 acres of wild game [audio distortion] habitat will be affected by the railroad.· Some of this area has been designated as crucial big game habitat by the Forest Service.· The route also impacts the 1,600 acres of greater sage-grouse habitat in the areas inhabited by the endangered [inaudible].
The environmental impacts of this project are huge, not only to the Uinta Basin.· Those oil refineries on Beck Street in Salt Lake will be busier than ever polluting our air with the oil and tar sand extracted from the Uinta Basin.
Who are the beneficiaries of this project? Is it worth polluting our air, land and water to construct a project that will increase carbon emissions in the state?· Your statement is important.· Please explore all of the destruction to the environment this project would cause.· With wildfires raging across the American West, destroying communities, blocking out the sun, filling the air with illness-causing soot, and inflicting immense economic damage.· It makes no sense to keep burning fossil fuels within the community, pushing us closer to an unfixable global warming. I urge this project be denied.