Uinta Basin Railway

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Uinta Basin Railway

Date: 03/23/2022     State: UT     Issues: Climate, Oil and Gas, Urban Planning, Watersheds, Wild Lands, Wildlife     Partners: Aspen Journalism, Living Rivers Airport Origin : Moab, UT    

Mission


Fly experts, conservation partners, political leaders, and members of the media to view the proposed Uinta Basin Railway site. Capture aerial images and generate public awareness about the threats this project poses.


The Uinta Basin Railway is a proposal to construct an 88 mile railroad to carry crude oil from the Uinta Basin to Gulf Coast refineries. If constructed, every day around 3 to 10 trains carrying up to 350,000 barrels of waxy crude oil will be transported along rivers and through Utah and Colorado communities.


The Utah railroad will connect to the national rail network and allow for easier transportation of oil. Currently, transporting oil from the Uinta Basin is difficult and expensive. The Uinta Basin Railway will allow for easy transportation and make oil extraction in the region much more viable and common. As pictured above, the basin is already ravaged by extractive development, and it's expected the railway will quadruple oil production in the basin.


This proposed railway works against our nation's efforts to transition away from fossil fuels. The project is counterproductive and financially questionable as the future of the oil market is unknown. However, the proposal was approved on Dec. 15, 2021, by the Surface Transportation Board.


The railway poses huge environmental risks. Construction will destroy massive stretches of vegetation and wildlife habitat. It will also increase extraction, furthering environmental disruption and increasing air pollution. The railway will continue to pollute daily as it carries oil along rivers and through communities. The potential of an accident or oil spill would be disastrous, polluting critical wildlife habitat, the Fraser River, and the Colorado River, a source of drinking water for over 35 million people. The waxy crude oil is heated as it's transported to keep it from solidifying. If a spill occurred the oil would harden in the environment, making clean-up and remediation virtually impossible.


The proposed Uinta Basin Railway poses huge threats to the environment and will greatly increase oil production.




Flight Images

 
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