Submission Number: UBR-DEIS-00411 -- Oral Comment at Public Meeting 

Received: 12/3/2020 12:00:00 AM
Commenter: Julie Jex

Agency: STB
Initiative: Uinta Basin Railway EIS
Attachments: No Attachments
Submission Text
Thank you.· Can you hear me?


Great.· I would like to go on record as opposing the current three lines that are suggested, especially the Whitmore and the Indian Canyon and the Wells Draw.· It's been my observation as a long-term resident of Utah.· And I must say I grew up in southern Utah where water is scarce.· And we -- I lived in an area where they thought that they -- if they brought in a pig farm, it was going to solve everybody's problems, but there were many, many unintended consequences from that.· And the pig farm isn't doing quite as well as they thought it was going to do.

I need to go also on record as stating that we do not oppose the railway.· We just don't like it going through any part of Argyle Canyon.

Private property in Utah is at ten percent the last report I saw.· Everything else is owned by
state and federal governments.· And so, this is a very high commodity to have any type of private property. And so those of us who have scrimped and saved to have a little piece in Argyle Canyon feel very passionate about this.· We paid just as many taxes for the library and the schools in Duchesne as the good folks in Duchesne County, but we get no services for those taxes.

I have to also agree with Mr. Moench, I guess, that the EIS study is very inadequate.· You're willing to go around the Mini Ranches but not any other private property.· If production is down
in the basin, truck travel is going to go down, therefore pollution will go down.

All of this EIS is on speculation.· And I have to say that we cannot afford economically for this project to go through.· So I would say please deny this project.·Thank you.


Hi, this is Julie Jex again. I have so many conflicting and confusing ideas here because I hear these comments about how everything is going to help the basin.· Well, where's the
responsibility of the government leaders in the basin for not investigating or proposing additional resources or alternative ideas rather than focusing on this railway, which they proposed was going to run all of this oil out of the basin.· Well, part of the problem
is they couldn't get a pipeline because the oil is so low grade and not that many people wanted it is my understanding.

And then, my second confusing idea is I don't think that the people in the basin realize that
we are not opposed to a railway going out of the basin. We are just opposed to it going through private property that we have put a lot of investment, time, energy, money into, just as they have with their farms and ranches, which we -- which we agree with.· And we contribute to the economy of the basin.

And so, we just don't want it to go through any piece of Argyle Canyon.·It's -- it's such a commodity now.· And I don't know if these folks realize it, because they're on multiple acres, but it is very, very scarce now.· And at some point, the Uinta Basin if they think that it's going to be a bedroom community of Wasatch Front, it may or may not.· But number one, there's a lot of infrastructure that needs to be improved.· We have family in North Dakota that have seen booms and busts, and they build schools and now the schools are empty.

There's just too many what-ifs with no types of guarantees.· It's going to take ten years to
pay for this railroad as stated in earlier comments. Do we have ten years?· What if it doesn't get finished? Then the tax payers of the Seven County Commission will be on the hook.· So I don't think that people are really following this through.· We just don't have any type of guarantee.

And so I think that the government officials in Duchesne and Vernal and surrounding areas
need to take a good hard look at their responsibility in all of this.· If they want to build a railroad, fine.· Just don't do it on my tax dollars and don't take it through Argyle Canyon.·Thank you.