STOP THE UINTA BASIN RAILWAY
AN OIL TRAIN, AN ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER,
The proposed Uinta Basin Railway is designed to carry oil from Utah to distant refineries and markets. The project would drag the region’s economy deeper into an unhealthy dependence on fossil fuel extraction.
The railway and the frenzy of oil drilling it’s likely to unlock would worsen air pollution, worsen the climate crisis, and threaten wildlife and precious water supplies.
Rather than helping to diversify struggling rural economies, this misguided proposal would make the communities of the Uinta Basin even more captive to the fickle global price of oil.
We can and must chart a smarter, safer, more resilient path forward.
In 2018 and 2019, a Utah board illegally gave nearly $28 million in public funds to an obscure public entity to launch what would be the largest railroad construction project in the United States in several decades: the Uinta Basin Railway.
The train would carry oil, not passengers, from Utah’s Uinta Basin to distant national and global markets. This oil train railway could unlock a frenzy of new drilling and quadruple oil extraction in the basin. This would be a trainwreck for the region’s air, water, lands and wildlife. It would accelerate the already dangerous public health and environmental effects of global warming.
The project’s backers, Utah’s Seven County Infrastructure Coalition, claim the multi-billion dollar railway would be a boon for local communities, but they have provided few details. They have continually failed to involve the public, including landowners in the path of the railway, in what should be a public process about how public money is being spent.
Though it remains unclear whether the Uinta Basin Railway oil train would pencil out, fueled by tens of millions of dollars from the Utah Permanent Community Impact Fund Board, which should be serving local communities instead of private oil companies, the project is being pushed full steam ahead.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
“We need to focus on diversifying rural economies. Instead, the Uinta Basin Railway would make communities in the region even more beholden to the fickle global price of oil than they already are.”
— Ryan Beam, Center for Biological Diversity
PHOTOS FROM THE PROPOSED UINTA BASIN RAILWAY ROUTES
“The Seven County Infrastructure Coalition should take this proposal back to the drawing board and formulate a plan that more broadly serves the needs of the people living in the Uinta Basin.”
— Mike Christensen, Utah Rail Passengers Association
UTAH CLEAN INFRASTRUCTURE COALITION
Center for Biological Diversity
Argyle Wilderness Preservation Alliance
Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment
Utah Rail Passengers Association
Utah Native Plant Society
Utah Tar Sands Resistance
No Coal In Oakland
Canyon Country Rising Tide
Holiday River Expeditions
And many others