Submission Number: UBR-DEIS-00124 

Received: 12/4/2020 6:46:28 PM
Commenter: Richard Yager
State: Utah

Agency: STB
Initiative: Uinta Basin Railway EIS
Attachments: No Attachments
Submission Text
The proposed Uintah Basin railway is a project with speculative benefits, and real and permanent environmental costs. Moreover, the fact that nearly $30 million of public funds have been spent on this proposal thus far, without any matching private investment, warrants skepticism of the projected benefits. This continuing public subsidy of the fossil fuel industry, which is already subsidized by the minimal royalty rates paid for oil extraction from federal land, is counter to the direction that our country should be heading to ameliorate the demonstrated effects of human emissions of greenhouse gases on global warming. If the Uintah Basin is to be connected to the interstate rail network, the less costly and minimal impact alternative would be eastward through Craig, Colorado, in the direction of the ultimate destination for crude oil on the Gulf Coast. The misuse of Community Impact Board funds for this project in Utah, along with the over $50 million of public funds similarly earmarked for an export terminal in Oakland California, is troubling.These funds were designated to alleviate the impacts of oil and gas extraction in Utah, not to subsidize the further expansion of the fossil fuel industry. These moneys would be much better spent on forward looking projects that expand next generation, renewable energy sources, or diversify the local economy in the Uintah Basin. These significant expenditures would be better used to develop the solar industry and create new jobs, or to expand the non-motorized trail network to encourage more visitors to this area.