Submission Number: UBR-DEIS-00428 

Received: 1/26/2021 10:25:17 PM
Commenter: David Pedersen
State: Outside the United States

Agency: STB
Initiative: Uinta Basin Railway EIS
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Submission Text
As a railroad enthusiast, it pains me to say this but this proposed project is a terrible, no-good, economically-problematic idea, and I would like to explain why. Simply stated, more fossil-fuel extraction is the exact OPPOSITE of what we need right now as a civilization. The empirical and scientific evidence surrounding fossil-fuel extraction, transportation, refining, and consumption (combustion) is grim and indisputable. We have roughly a decade left to get our greenhouse-gas emissions under control, and that's an optimistic estimate. More and more scientists are saying we are actually on the "worst-case" path, which means it may already be too late, and so we don't want to make a terrible situation even worse. The state of Utah is already terribly polluted in terms of air, water, and - yes - land. The Wasatch Front suffers so terribly from pollution that it has become a de-facto "guinea pig" for examining the effects of air pollution on public health. The proposed construction of the now-infamous Inland Port project will only make the pollution worse, and yes - it will handle the oil and gas mined from the Uinta Basin. The railroad locomotives themselves are also problematic. Despite the dubious claims that only the cleanest locomotives will be used, there is ample evidence to suggest that such locomotives are actually anything BUT clean, and that's IF they meet the emissions standards for their engines' manufacturing year(s). When you consider the particulate-matter spikes created by D.P.F. regenerations and the excess ammonia spewed into the air courtesy of the S.C.R. systems, it is obvious that the "clean locomotives" excuse is dangerously invalid. Even California is struggling to get their locomotive emissions under control (does Utah really want to become another California?)! Finally, the mining of oil and gas cause devastating damage to the landscape, including the contamination of aquifers and the deposition of heavy metals and other "forever chemicals". And leaks? Well, those happen (contrary to industry dogma), so that's an issue that can't be addressed. Just a few months ago, researchers here in British Columbia observed horses near fracking sites having issues with lactating for their babies, as well as birth defects in their foals. The cause of these issues wasn't hard to track down. Utah is a "western" kind of state, and horses have long roamed its ranges and deserts. Do we want them to suffer as well? I think not! If Utah is serious about expanding its railroad network, then high-speed electric passenger and freight rail powered by clean renewable electricity is the way to do it. Building new railroads for the sole purpose of transporting dirty and increasingly-obsolete fossil fuels makes no sense whatsoever and wastes money that could be put to better purposes (e.g. installing air purifiers in buildings along the Wasatch Front). Please do the right thing and reject this awful project before it's too late. The tribes and members of the public are counting on you. Thank you very much. Kind regards, David Pedersen

[See Original Attachment 1 for an image of cars on a street and the caption "Diesel cars regularly have to clean their filters which catch dangerous particles."

See Original Attachment 2 for an image of a smoke stake and the caption "When this happens, large amounts of particle pollution."

See Original Attachment 3 for an image of a man coughing and the caption "Above legal limits are released into the air."]