Attorney General Phil Weiser opposes proposed Uinta Basin Railway in letter to USDOT
April 25, 2023 (DENVER) – Attorney General Phil Weiser today sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation urging the department to reject the use of federal funds, or Private Activity Bonds, for the development of the proposed Uinta Basin Railway.
The attorney general’s letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg warns that the construction of the 88-mile crude oil rail line along the Colorado River poses extreme risk to Colorado’s most important water source and the communities reliant upon it. This risk is not specific to Colorado, as six other states, 10 federally recognized tribes, and Mexico all rely on the Colorado River for water.
“Given the environmental and safety risks of this project, this proposed Uinta Basin Railway could result in lasting harm to our residents and communities, and I urge the department to deny federal funding for this railway,” said Weiser. “Federal Private Activity Bonds should benefit the public and prioritize moving people, not goods for a private industry actor.”
In the past, the Private Activity Bonds program has invested billions of dollars in transportation projects that benefit public infrastructure, such as light rail transit, bridges, and highway systems—all of which benefit the mobility of citizens. However, the Uinta Basin Railway proposal would divert public resources to only benefit private industry actors.
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