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PORTLAND, ME (July 14, 2022)  – Utah Gov. Spencer Cox is elated by today’s news that the U.S. Forest Service has authorized the Uinta Basin Railway. This approval allows the Uinta Basin Railway proposal to continue to move forward, connecting the eastern part of Utah with national rail networks.

“This is a huge victory that will get Utah energy to market faster, more cleanly, more safely, and will help the economies of eastern Utah,” said Gov. Cox. “State and local governments, the Ute Tribe, energy producers and rail companies have been making the argument for decades that improved access to the outside world will help the Basin diversify its economy. Without a doubt, this infrastructure will improve economic opportunities for individuals, families and businesses. We’re excited to see the potential of this region unleashed.”

The Uintah Basin is rich in natural resources including hydrocarbons, phosphates, and other minerals critical to America’s economy. However, it’s also one of the largest areas of the western United States with no rail or freeway connections. 

Without rail, interstate highway and major airport service, Duchesne and Uintah Counties have been at a major competitive disadvantage when trying to attract business investment and residents have had very limited employment prospects. 

The new rail will open up transportation options for natural resources as well as agricultural products, manufactured goods and more.

Approval documents are attached.

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