So Sheriff White wants a substation on the Book Cliffs. To protect what? Has he been up there lately? There are a couple of test extraction sites: ugly scars on the landscape. The owners apparently don’t even care enough about them to completely fence the test sites, much less with security fencing. So we taxpayers of Grand County should build a facility and provide a security service?
There is already a law enforcement agency on site. On my last visit, friends and I were looking over a fence at an ugly hole in the ground that is a test site for tar sands extraction. The fence only partially closed off the road-side of the property. Then a gentleman got out of an unmarked pickup truck and sauntered up to the fence and told us we should not go in for a closer look or he would have to arrest us. We thought it was a joke: He had his sidearm and cuffs, but his T-shirt clearly said “Harley Davidson Police.”
But it was not a joke. Officer Ronald C. Barton showed his badge and a card stating that he was a Special Agent of the Utah Attorney General for SITLA. He further informed us that there were more officers patrolling the Cliffs and that all SITLA land was posted and we could be arrested for trespassing on any of it.
If a state agency is already patrolling the Book Cliffs, why do we need to duplicate the coverage, even if there were a reason to be there? Tar sands and oil shale extraction on the Book Cliffs is marginal at best, but depressed oil prices will most likely result in a couple more ugly abandoned test sites.
Our Grand County resources should be used to “protect us from them” rather than “them from us.”