Court rules against rail line to carry oil from Utah to Cushing


A Federal Court of Appeals has ordered proponents of a rail line meant to carry oil from Utah, through Colorado and eventually to the Cushing Hub in Oklahoma, back to the drawing board.

Too much opposition from Colorado. It means the  88-mile Uinta Basin Railway aimed at increasing Utah’s fossil fuel exports from 90,000 barrels a day to between 225,000 and 350,000 barrels a day,  won’t see any oil tankers running anytime soon.

The order came from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia which turned aside a motion to rehear challenges after it had ruled in August the environmental impact statement was “insufficient.”

It’s estimated that 85% of Utah’s oil and gas production takes pllace in the Unita Basin located in the northeast part of the state. The railway was designed to move more oil out of the state and eventually to Gulf Coast refineries.

A report by the Salt Lake Tribune indicated the ruling means the U.S. Surface Transportation Board will have to begin anew in creating an environmental study. The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service will also have to come up with a n ew biological opinion on the project.