Submission Number: UBR-DEIS-00383 -- Oral Comment at Public Meeting 

Received: 12/1/2020 12:00:00 AM
Commenter: John Gills

Agency: STB
Initiative: Uinta Basin Railway EIS
Attachments: No Attachments
Submission Text
Can you hear me now, Jennifer?


Yeah, I'm John Gills, and I live in Salt Lake but I am also a landowner in Duchesne
County and I spend a lot of time up there and have an interest of what goes on up there also.· So thank you for the opportunity to comment today.

This is a project that's, you know, been kicked around since the turn of the century, 1900s. There's probably a reason it hasn't been done yet because it's not really a viable project then, nor is it really a viable project now.

I would just question why we're moving forward with an exemption before the approval on this project.· The estimated cost for this project is $1.5 billion.

They estimate that it will have about 100 permanent jobs and 300 periphery jobs.· And that comes out to about $3 million per job.· It seems like we could spend money in a better way than that.

The cost per mile is going to be $17 million, 85 miles long and a half a mile wide.· It just seems like this money could be spent in a better place.· There's also a lot of State and federal money tied up in this.· That also does not include the maintenance costs, which are projected at $4 million a year.

The railroad will cut through -- only cut 60 miles off the road route.· And a lot of money has also been already invested into this project from the UPCI funds, which are supposed to be spent to reinvest money in projects other than the oil and gas industry that raised them to mitigate and offset the problems that the oil and gas industry cause.· I don't think we should be investing that money back into the same industry that -- that caused the problem in the first place.

We shouldn't be promoting more of the same. We should be trying to move on in a different direction.

Whenever anybody uses the word "sustainable," you have to question it because the word sustainable actually means to maintain at the same level, not add to the current problem.

I don't see how we can sustain anything when all we're doing is adding to the current problem.· The Uinta Basin has some of the worst air quality in the nation every single winter.· It affects old people.· It affects children.· It affects people with respiratory problems.

Given the current status of our problems, this is evidently, certainly not a good idea.· I would please urge you to reject this proposal.· Thank you.


Hi, can you hear me, Jennifer?


Yeah, I would just like to expand on John Prehn's comments and this is kind of
like a Monte Python show and possibly the worst project ever.

I would just have to add that possibly the bridge project should be good competition to it, the worst project ever in the nomination.· They want to provide an 85-mile road through the Book Cliffs just east of this project, which would also be a huge environmental impact.· Both of these projects would be funded by the UPCI fund, which should not be used for these type of projects.

Another project that probably would be in the running for worst ever projects is the inland port in Salt Lake City.· And all these projects are promoted by a very small handful of people in Utah including the Utah Legislature.· And the citizens of Utah should just be very concerned about projects like this that spend millions and millions of dollars by people on boards and in committees that are not elected by citizens. 

So I would just extend to everybody an invitation to do some more homework on these projects. That's my comment.