Utah Inland Port Business Plan response
First Nation Sourcing
"Rural Utahns are treated as second-class citizens yet again", said UCARE representative Stan Holmes in reference to the just-released Utah Inland Port Authority's Strategic Business Plan. "The urgent economic needs of Carbon, Emery and other rural Utah counties are paid lip service in deference to urban development on the Wasatch Front. We expect that the vacuum left by Utah Inland Port Authority's Strategic Business Plan will be readily filled by coal, oil, and gas profiteers that have already run afoul of regulatory standards." ~Stan Holmes
We are writing to bring your attention to a situation that is rapidly formulating in your area. The Utah Inland Port Authority (UIPA) is planning satellite hubs to provide for heavy extraction interests in rural Utah, especially the southern Bears Ears Monument area, southern, and eastern Utah counties, misusing intentions of Permanent Community Impact Fund Board funds. We hope that you will consider our strategy for an alternative agricultural economy. We want to drive towards sustainability for our combined futures and prosperity. We understand that the Utah Inland Port would bring manufacturing, commerce, and employment to the metropolitan area. We pray the Legislature and the Board will consider and utilize these tax dollars towards this more detailed and comprehensive strategy that will benefit all of Utah counties and taxpayers to meet those goals.
Unfortunately, the Utah Inland Port future business plans are not innovative, or even creative. It’s more of the same. It details logistics and support for damaging industries that have decimated our rural and Indigenous communities for decades and will require reparations and superfund clean up.
- Continued high-risk transportation in hazardous materials such as uranium, vanadium, and fossil fuel products utilizing road, rail, and pipelines, through our communities increases COVID 19 comorbidity risks, as evidenced in Utah’s rural and Indigenous communities.
- Increasing need to continue to mitigate health, water, air, and aquifer damage, and soil issues and damage to wildlife and cattle.
- Not all counties can participate and those acreages will be removed from productive activities for the foreseeable future.
- Devastating changes and consequences to all the bird populations in the western hemisphere ensuring changes in pollen and foods.
- Ties communities and citizens to dying industries that are doomed taking our economic prosperity and security with them.
- Presents multiple complex future problems that are medically, environmentally, and economically dangerously shortsighted.
- Does not meet the stated goals of sustainability, renewable energy, or even thoughtful accountability.
Over the past year, we have been introducing an agricultural-based economic development strategy during meetings with representatives of the Navajo Nation. We hope to see the seeding and implementation with the CARES act. This strategy would far exceed the revenue potential of extraction industry products and allow the proper use of Permanent Community Impact Fund Board money allocated to Utah’s rural and Native communities. Leaders should ensure our interests are participating in this multi-billion-dollar economic opportunity with hemp exports.
We believe it is our responsibility to the next generations to utilize a strategy of industrial hemp exports to:
- Produce 50K non-toxic and eco-friendly products for export.
- Allow all Utah counties to participate with clean infrastructure.
- Much higher export and tax potential than extraction.
- Each manufacturing facility chain could employ 500+.
- Main Street value chain is supported for the next seven generations.
- Meets training and employment goals.
- Biofuels meet emission and climate standards and create carbon credits for the state to capitalize.
- Biofuels do not require replacement of current vehicles or expensive new infrastructure (electric).
- Qualifies for light rail transportation standards.
- Meets stated goals of renewable and sustainable growth across multiple industries.
- Provides resources and works inside the federal opportunity zones.
- Utilizes budgeted tax dollars to rural Utah citizens with the lowest income and job opportunities.
- Mitigates air, water, and soil issues with healthy alternatives.
Working together, our leadership can identify a comprehensive plan for our children's futures that is inclusive. We feel that we should all lead by example and demand a switch from the heavy industry infrastructure that supports extraction to light industry infrastructure to support farmers, rural, and tribal communities. Additionally, we must legislate drastic and sweeping changes to heavy export in favor of healthy communities. We can provide a healthier and more equitable future for Utah families. Our plan is different, inclusive, non-toxic, scalable, and keeps every Utah family in mind, including water, wildlife and plant life.
Please share this with your local delegates, leaders, and community members. We hope you will join us in support of sustainable hemp-based alternatives for everyone's strengthened economic future. The next two weeks are critical! The Inland Port is holding a public comment period regarding their extraction plans until June 1, 2020. Please tell them all about us! Oppose this plan! https://www.utahinlandport.org/business-plan/
Looking for a brighter future,