Comments about ‘Crude reality: North Dakota oil boom has Utah envying its surplus green’

Return to article »

State officials see federal control as blocking source of revenue, education funding

Published: Saturday, Jan. 11 2014 5:20 p.m. MST

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
Salt Lake City, UT

Do we envy the oil spills, as well?

When does leadership factually put a value on the lives of it's citizens…

over profit?


It would be wonderful for the state to be able to access at least some of these resources. I, like others commenting on this board have little confidence that the additional funds would actually flow to education or heaven forbid air and water quality issues.

Also, does anyone else find it ironic that the photo on an article (about the state's inability to get its hand on additional carbon fuels)shows the state official peering out at the salt lake valley, and because of the pollution can't even see the bottom of the hill?

heber city, UT

Please watch the documentary "Gasland" or "Gasland 2" to see what the oil companies are doing to destroy lives and the environment with gas exploration.

Provo, ut

The mentality that those bureaucrats in D.C. are so much wiser than allowing local control of the resources cracks me up. When did those far away people of the Leviathan become so wise as to control our resources....But no matter. I would argue that we just sit on the resources because when the Federal government collapses under it's collective wisdom ($17 trillion and counting) we might need some energy to take care of our own.

Roosevelt, UT

As a resident of the beautiful place that just happens to be sitting on top of all that oil & gas, I can't believe that anyone in our state government want a "North Dakota" type situation occurring in the Uintah Basin.

Seriously, it's not about the greenbacks all the time. Besides, the money never stays; it's a use it up and leave type situation.

If the leaders of Utah were truly smart (a long shot, I know) they'd encourage slow growth and development over no-holds barred, whatever you want growth. They'd encourage safe practices rather than dangerous ones. They would advance more varied business models to coast through the boom & bust cycle that is a known factor of energy production. They'd encourage reformation rather than destruction.

And number one, they'd be all for preserving the beauty that makes Utah truly unique. And that does not include oil rigs and pipelines, dusty roads and heavy truck traffic, dirty air and dirty water, and dumps filled with toxic waste.

Nobody is going to want to live in North Dakota once all the energy companies have totally ruined it.

Kings Court
Alpine, UT


Use google and look up images for the Canadian Tar Sands in Alberta. You paint a rosy picture of the area. The pictures tell the real story. It is an environmental disaster. It is a 100% strip mining operation.

sherlock holmes
Eastern, UT

Seems the posters are a little cautious about energy growth today.

The Uintah Basin has seen times where there was little going on, and it has seen times when there was a lot going on. They prefer the latter, but a hundred miles.

The Bakken is hardly like the Basin. Not comparable from a social, public infrastructure standpoint. Vernal and Roosevelt have much to offer new residents, and not just good jobs. Good economies make it possible to have good streets, schools, recreation, even a public busing system for those without transportation.

I, for one, hope that 2014 offers as nice a year for the energy sector, and all those associated with it, as did 2013.

Vernal, UT

Many commenters on this thread have absolutely no idea of modern energy extraction but hold to their outdated notions told to them by SUWA, the Sierra Club, and their friends in the federal government east of the Mississippi. There can be no question that windmills are much more of an eye-sore than are the oil rigs here in the Basin.

SUWA and friends have convinced the unlearned that the oil rigs are going up in the middle of the beautiful red rock formations. Not so. The oil patch is not of particular beauty to anyone. I grew up on the San Rafael Swell and know what beautiful deserts look like and am in favor of preserving the beauty of those areas. Energy extraction is not, nor will not, happen there. If you give the local people the control, then you will have the perfect balance. We don't want the problems of out-of-control growth, we live here. We do want a good economy, good schools, and responsible growth. The federal government and SUWA don't care about the Uintah Basin, I DO.

Vernal, UT

To add more to my recent post, we here in the Uintah Basin are the ones most impacted by the energy industry. Our roads, our schools, our businesses, etc. We have the most to gain and the most to lose. Yet the state of Utah takes the largest chunk of the funds provided because of the extraction industry for itself. I do find it a bit hypocritical for the state politicians complain about Utah not being treated fairly, (which is true) and then treat the Uintah Basin the exact same way they are treated by the federal government. The resources generated by the Basin should primarily stay in the Basin and not be swallowed up by the state legislature.

Demo Dave
Holladay, UT

When it comes to energy, we have painted ourselves into a corner and there is nowhere left to go. Sure, we can continue to drill and burn our way into the future, and someone will make a lot of money on the journey, but the fact is that it will all run out - the oil and the money and the land we destroyed to get it. Then what?

What are we doing to ensure that there is something else with which to heat our homes and run our cars when the oil is gone? For that matter, what right do we have as Americans, comprising only 5% of the world's population, to consume 20% of its oil? This has to stop, folks, and it has to stop now!

Park City, Ut

In other words, we want the Federal Government to give up it's land, that they paid for when then purchased it from Mexico (again, remember the treaty of Hidalgo? Yes I bring it up ad nauseam for a reason) so that the State GOP can enrich the coffers of their constituents (and thus themselves). Yea, great idea, and all under the guise of more money for schools, which there is no guarantee of. Also, tar sands oil, much like what they are extracting out of the ground in Canada, is not used for energy production. It's used for plastics and they sell most of it to China! So we're to believe that our government would like to extract tar sands oil out of our pristine federal lands for "energy extraction" that will make us the next North Dakota? Not buying it. By the way, ever seen what happens when a tar sands pipe bursts? Its not like regular crude oil, just ask the folk in Michigan who spent 1 billion cleaning up a tar sands spill there!


Pff what a joke. We can't hand over our public lands to be pillaged, polluted and destroyed in the name of astronomical private profits, boo hoo.

Companies in ND are having a heyday up there. And the rest of the folks are enjoying burst pipelines, polluted rivers and aquifers, fiery train crashes.

And the regulators are refusing to do anything about it. There has been anything from dozens of unreported spills to building wells and pipelines without a license. When asked, the agency in charge simply stated that they would not bring charges in those instances because if they did, it would inhibit other companies from setting up shop in ND. Yep. That's what we need here in Utah.

Tell you what though. I have a couple of acquaintances who have moved up there because of their oil boom. Apparently, Mickey D's pays something like $17/hr. And their burgers DON'T cost $50 a pop. Somehow, ND Mickey D's figured out how to stay profitable even while paying their employees a (near) living wage. Shocking.

Phoenix, AZ

Turning Utah into ND will end UT's state religion and predominant Mormon culture.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Want to see what shale oil development in Alberta looks like. Use a satellite viewing website and look for Ft. MacMurray, Alberta, Canada and see what you find.

It looks small until you zoom in and start watching the distance scale at the corner of your screen.

What in Tucket?
Provo, UT

How about a little cut for the citizens like they do in Alaska? Is anyone taking contributions to foil more wells from Saudi Arabia?

Holladay, UT

Be it resolved that whenever a US Territory attains statehood that all Federally owned lands therein revert to said State in perpetuity!

Fairview, UT

A very lively discussion here with excellent points on both sides. I understand the concern over Federal control over State control. I find it hard to accept that individual control over Federal actions is more effective than individual control over State or local actions. I imagine I could influence a county commissioner who lives in my neighborhood much easier than I could some bureaucrat in a Federal agency. I agree with those who believe the control should be equally divided three ways- a third to Federal, a third to State, and a third to local officials- just as the constitution designs checks and balances.

As far as per capita spending on student performance, Utah's high student achievement has shown it's not the amount of money you spend on education so much as the emphasis our local society places on the importance of education. If you take a statistical look nationwide, at some point, there is an inverse relationship between the per student outlay and achievement. It's because of the focus on the wrong factor.

Fairview, UT

May I remind you that the Federal Government, according to the constitution, is "We, the People." Rights of ownership, and State's Rights, go hand in glove. The Federal Government doesn't "own" anything. In all legal aspects, the Federal Government acts on behalf of "the people of the United States." People who resided in the Utah Territory, the "Mexican Session," and those who later migrated to those lands did not lose their citizen's right to equal representation merely by geographical incidence.

Vernal, UT

@ Kings Court

Take another look. A company based in Oklahoma City is currently producing 75000+ barrels of oil per day with NO open pit mining. There are other companies using old technology and open mining, but the future is in the Jackfish projects. Don't believe every place the great google takes you.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

Utah BLM currently administers over 3,800 oil and gas leases, containing approximately 4.3 million acres of land.
Approximately 17 million acres are available (open under standard stipulations, special terms or conditions or no surface occupancy), and 5 million acres are withdrawn due to wilderness study areas, national monument or withdrawal through existing land use plans.

But they want more.

Big difference between oil sand and oil slate, I believe Utah is oil slate.
Look at the Uintah Basin on google earth south of the highway looks like
a city with no homes just the cleared lots, looks like ant hills completely
peppering the landscape

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments