Last chance for public comment on Uinta Basin Railway funding options
The owners of the Uinta Basin Railway project are searching for funding to construct the railway. After funding from private investors, the majority owner, Uinta Basin Railway, LLC, still needs to secure $2.9 billion in funding.
The railway is seeking bonds from the U.S. Department of Transportation, which gives the public an opportunity to voice any objections they may have to the bonds by writing the department, or submitting comments at the upcoming Seven County Infrastructure Coalition meeting.
In February, Utah’s Seven County Infrastructure Coalition passed a resolution so that the Uinta Basin Railway could secure up to $2 billion in private activity bonds through the department of transportation. The tax-exempt bonds would provide a federal subsidy for the Uinta Basin Railway with low interest rates. This ultimately means taxpayers are helping subsidize the construction.
Once completed, the railway will haul up to 350,000 barrels of waxy crude each day on the rail line, from Utah oil fields down to Oklahoma and Gulf Coast refineries. The Seven County Infrastructure Coalition was formed in 2014 to sponsor the railway project.
As the public becomes aware of the potential use of these federally-issued bonds, the project has hit another road block. Several organizations, such as Center for Biological Diversity and Colorado Trout Unlimited, are opposing the bonds by putting pressure on the Department of Transportation.
Community members have an option to make their voice heard. Those who object to the bonds funding the railway can write or email Pete Buttigieg, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Lastly, the Seven County Infrastructure Coalition will hold a public meeting on March 9 at 10 a.m. to discuss the potential bonds. Grand County residents can attend the meeting virtually by visiting scic-Utah.org. Residents can submit comments or concerns to the coalition up until their March 9 meeting by emailing Lenise Peterman at email@example.com.
Address concerns to Secretary Buttigieg at the following address or email:
The Honorable Pete Buttigieg Secretary
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20590
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