Submission Number: UBR-DEIS-00299 -- Oral Comment at Public Meeting
Received: 11/19/2020 12:00:00 PM
Commenter: Raphael Cordray
Initiative: Uinta Basin Railway EIS
Attachments: No Attachments
Hi.· Thank you for allowing me to comment again.· My name is Raphael Cordray, and I would just like to address the fact that the Seven County Coalition is -- they are listed in Utah as an interlocal entity.· And they have been around for a few years, but they have failed to register with the Utah Lieutenant Governor's office.· And it just concerns me that this agency has gone for years without providing the public with the proper registration that's required for them to even do business in this state. · · · · ·
So it says in the Utah code that this interlocal agency, within 30 days of becoming an agency, that they should register with the Lieutenant Governor's office. They should provide the entity's name, the entity's type of local government entity or limited purpose entity, the entity's governmental function, the entity's website, physical address, phone number, including the name and contact information of an individual whom the entity designates as the primary contact for the entity.· The entity should be providing their sources of revenue and numerous other details that the Utah State Legislature
determined any local agency in Utah should do. · · · · ·
It disturbs me that the STB would even consider allowing the SCIC to proceed when they don't even comply with Utah law. · · · · ·The Seven County Coalition, Mike McKee, they've been notified.· I notified them -- my colleague, excuse me, notified them in the past about this.· And then we made a complaint to Lieutenant Governor Cox's office in September.· Lieutenant Governor Cox's office is, in fact, in violation of the Utah legislative rule guiding how they will keep track of interlocal agencies in Utah.· · · · ·
And while the public is -- while the Seven County Coalition is pursuing this project, they are not providing the public with the mandatory information that the governor, Lieutenant Governor's office requires. · · · · ·Lieutenant Governor Cox's office is not following through in making the Seven County Coalition comply with this law.· And the public is being harmed by this because, well --
-- people have to follow the law. So why doesn't the Seven County Coalition have to follow the law?· Mike McKee and the rest of the Board, they flout the law.· And it's disturbing that there's no way to get them to actually follow the law except to bring it up at hearings like this. · · · · ·I hope the STB would expect them to comply with the law before they proceed with building a railroad. Thank you.
Thank you.· Thank you for this opportunity to speak again.· I have spent months and months out in the woods in the Uinta Basin, and I care about it deeply. · · · · ·I think it's important to talk about the things that the real estate agent is bringing up and what Darrell Fordham brought up and to hash that out a little bit more. · · · · ·I think that it's -- that the real estate agent should find out how the lumber is going to get on the train.· Because again, it's very expensive to get a transloading facility.· And, you know, who is going to pay for the transloading facilities in the Uinta Basin? Who is going to maintain them?· Who is going to maintain the railroad? · · · · ·
Claiming -- or if the Uinta Basin hitches themselves to this railroad, they're practically guaranteeing a reliance on a bust and boom future.· The railroad will be dependent on the price of gas, and the railroad is extremely expensive and extremely limited in how people can use and access it.· · · · ·
It is true that the public is being deceived about the reality of the use of the railroad.· I'm sure that many people in the Uinta Basin do want the railroad and do want to continue making money off of oil and gas. · · · · ·
But the impact of climate change is a reality. And the impact of the air quality on the Uinta Basin on the birth weight and miscarriages of babies in the Uinta Basin is a reality.· You really want to trade more jobs for more babies being stillborn?· This is not a good tradeoff for our future.· Everybody doesn't want this. People are afraid.· People want jobs.· But to hitch your future to the railroad when the future of oil and gas is so unstable is a terribly bad decision for the future generations of Utah. · · · · ·
And whether you're an outsider or an insider, you're hitching the future generations of Utah to an unstable path that's very expensive.· There's no guarantee. · · · · ·And ask your friend how he's going to get the lumber on the railroad.· Thank you.