Do we need another oil pipeline bringing dirty black crude into the Salt Lake Valley?
Please attend the hearings & submit comments.
Coming on the heels of the largest environmental rally in the history of Utah, when nearly 5,000 Utahns gathered at the capitol to deliver a simple message of “Clean Air, NO EXCUSES!” to our leaders, we have an opportunity to focus our attention on the real source of our polluted air along the Wasatch Front: the burning of fossil fuels.
Tesoro Refinery is proposing to build a 135-mile, 12” diameter, heated pipeline from the Uinta Basin into the Salt Lake Valley. Why heated? Because some of the crude oil coming out of Utah is such low grade that it contains a high-paraffin (wax) content, resulting in stuck black wax when it cools. Hence, the need for a heated pipeline. In other words, we’re going to expend a lot of energy to produce more dirty energy.
Of course, we don’t think this is a very smart idea. That’s where you come in. Because this pipeline is proposed to cross a portion of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest east of Salt Lake City, the Forest Service is required to evaluate the project in order to determine if they should grant a right-of-way. The agency recently announced a scoping process in order to gather public input on the issues that need to be evaluated.
Two open houses are scheduled next week. Please consider attending one or both of these hearings. A strong public showing is critical to show public concern over this issue. The two public meetings are:
Wednesday, Feb. 19, 6 to 8 p.m., Wasatch High School, Heber City
Thursday, Feb. 20, 6 to 8 p.m., Bountiful High School, Bountiful
Written comments can be sent to:
Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest Supervisor's Office
Attn: Nelson Gonzalez-Sullow
857 West South Jordan Parkway
South Jordan, UT 84095-8594
Comments can also be sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or via fax to 801-253-8118.
Finally consider these points when registering your comments with officials.
- A pipeline won’t solve the truck problem. Proponents are claiming the pipeline will remove from the highway 250 tanker trucks per day. A pipeline would create additional oil transport capacity into Utah refineries rather than replace it. It does not prohibit trucks. It offers no assurance against more truck traffic as oil production continues to rise. Solving the truck problem requires regulating trucks.
- More dirty oil refining means more dangerous air pollution. The pipeline will increase the amount of oil that can be brought to the Wasatch Front. Coupled with plans to expand area refineries and also plans to expand U.S. Highway 40, this additional oil promises to worsen rather than reduce refinery pollution already impacting Utah's families.
- With oil pipelines come oil spills. Pipelines break; this one would threaten communities, landowners, forest ecosystems, wildlife, and waterways. In 2010 Chevron's pipeline spilled 54,600 gallons of dirty crude into Salt Lake City’s Red Butte Creek. Nationally, since 1986, pipeline breaks have resulted in 536 fatalities, 2,366 injuries, 3845 hazardous liquid incidents and $6.75 billion in property damage. For an alarming graphic on this, see: http://bit.ly/NL3AN4
- More oil, more warming, less water for Salt Lake City. Researchers warn that our warming climate threatens to reduce watershed flows that provide Salt Lake City’s drinking water. Expanding oil development in Utah will worsen greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to warming and water supply threats.
- Every dollar invested in dirty energy is a dollar that does not get invested in clean, renewable energy. Further investment in dirty energy infrastructure in Utah only increases our addiction to climate-disrupting, air-polluting fuels and discourages clean energy companies from investing in Utah. Utah’s leaders should be doing all they can to attract clean energy investment, not shun it.
Two recent media stories on the proposed pipeline