The meeting Wednesday, Sept. 17 on the Seven County Coalition was a frightening experience. The three panel members from Uintah County, UDOT, and the lawyer with unnamed clients were well organized. The three did not tell the public that the first project had been approved and was for oil and gas infrastructure in Duchesne and Uintah Counties. They talked about water lines, sewer lines and other benefits from better infrastructure.
The most frightening disclosure was that the coalition will have eminent domain over Grand County. Eminent domain will allow the coalition to obtain tax-free bonds and, of course, to take private property as needed for its projects. The property owner will be paid what the coalition feels is a fair price. If an owner disagrees with the price, he or she can go to court.
Uintah, Duchesne and the oil companies in the counties will have the right to build any infrastructure through Moab Valley that meets their business needs for the next 50 years.
The Seven County Coalition is a vehicle where the counties and projects will have access to the tax-free municipal bond market, access to CIB funds, and access to federal and state grants paid for by the taxpayers.
In their Energy report for Uintah County, UDOT estimates that there is $26 billion of additional product in the ground that can be obtained by improving infrastructure. Welcome to big oil and its power.