Submission Number: UBR-DEIS-00046 

Received: 11/20/2020 4:17:46 PM
Commenter: Katherine Hunter
Organization: OKOKOK Productions
State: Utah

Agency: STB
Initiative: Uinta Basin Railway EIS
Attachments: No Attachments
Submission Text
I am writing to voice my concerns and objections to the almost 28 million dollars in CIB public monies that have been given to the Seven County Infrastructure Coalition for the purpose of constructing the Railway to increase the production and transportation of fossil fuel extraction in the Unita Basin. By law, CIB funds are required to serve communities by alleviating the impacts of mineral extraction on nearby public lands; instead, they are being given in a huge lump sum to help private oil companies extract and transport more oil. The project’s backers (a Public Private Partnership” agreement with Drexel Hamilton Infrastructure Partners and the Seven County Coalition) have continually failed to involve the public, including landowners in the path of the railway, in what should be a public process about how public money is being spent has turned into a give-a-way to a private corporation. The State is always crying out for more revenue yet here we are subsidizing a private industry. Concerning Water - The project would run almost the entire length of Indian Canyon Creek, with 443 stream crossings, impacting over 61 miles of streams and 26 acres of floodplains. All the alternative routes connect to the existing railroad at the same spot: directly adjacent to important wetlands along the Price River. These are detrimental impacts to the more valuable perennial waterways in our semi-arid state. Climate Change - The proposed railway is intended to assist in the expansion of oil, gas, and other fossil fuels in the Uinta Basin to distant markets. This increase in oil production — potentially four times the current amount -- will contribute irreversibly to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Our climate is already at a tipping point, please do not push beyond any chance of repairing our climate. Air Quality - Air pollution in the Uinta Basin already exceeds federal standards because of existing oil and gas development in the region -- by increasing oil and gas development, this project would make it worse. WASTE: Public money is being misspent to push the Uinta Basin Railway forward instead of investing in diverse economic strategies to make struggling rural communities independent from exploitive fossil fuel industries. BOOM & BUST: This misguided proposal would make the Uinta Basin even more captive to the fickle global price of oil, and would drag the region’s economy deeper into an unhealthy dependence on fossil fuel extraction. Thank you hearing my concerns, Kaki Hunter Moab, Utah