Welcome back, it’s another Monday and I’m barely getting in under the wire with this post. 🙂 Each week, I highlight a climate-related issue and the frontline community most affected, and today’s post hits close to home (on a day when air quality is Unhealthy due to wildfire smoke coming down from Canada). Oddly enough, I knew nothing about the proposed Uinta Basin Railway until I attended an anti-fracking rally in January and received this gorgeous flyer.
Per StopUintaBasinRailway.com and its fact sheet: The Uinta Basin Railway would quadruple crude oil production in Utah’s Uinta Basin. The 88-mile railway would go from Myton, UT, to Kuyane, UT, and is predicted to ramp up crude oil production by as much as 400% in the Uinta Basin by providing access to the national rail network and coastal refineries. (See letter from Gulf Coast advocates).
Up to 1,600 loaded oil trains per year leaving the Uinta Basin would travel for 200 miles in Colorado along the Colorado River, source of drinking water for 40 million people and the heart of Colorado’s recreation economy. The heavy, long oil tanker trains used to transport crude oil pose greater risks of derailment and spills than other freight trains, and an increased risk of fire due to derailment and spilling of combustible oil. Further, climate change induced drought, due primarily to burning of fossil fuels, is resulting in more severe wildfires across the West.
It is bonkers to me that this is even being considered a viable plan. Even worse, the railway backers want tax payers to subsidize this train wreck for our climate! And good old Biden, the “climate president” is fully on board with this oil train nightmare. This article from The Lever is a must-read that lays it all out.
1. Sign the letter to Secretary Vilsack demanding that he revoke the permits for the Uinta Basin Railway AND send an email saying exactly why this matters to you. Email: email@example.com
2. Write to Sec. of Transportation (Pete Buttigieg) to urge the Department of Transportation to reject the use of tax-exempt “private activity bonds” for the Uinta
Basin Railway. Email: DOTExecSec@dot.gov
3. Contact your local, state, and federal elected officials. Many city councils and county commissions do not know about this project. Make sure they’re aware so they can state their opposition. NO MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE, THIS RAILWAY WOULD IMPACT YOUR LIFE BECAUSE OF ITS CLIMATE IMPLICATIONS. (Remember, I’m currently breathing wildfire smoke from Canada).
A couple weeks ago, we drove through Glenwood Canyon which is one of the most beautiful places on the planet, and saw an oil train winding its way through the twists and turns. It boggles the mind that in the wake of East Palestine they’re pushing for we the people to subsidize their crude oil trains. LET’S TELL THEM NO TO THE UINTA BASIN RAILWAY! I appreciate you reading this far and thank you in advance for taking a couple minutes to voice opposition to this plan.
Solidarity! ✊🏽 (P.S. we’re heading out on a camping trip tomorrow in hopes of cleaner air so I won’t be able to respond to comments until the end of the week, but please let me know what you’re thinking about all this!)