In eastern Utah, mainly the Uintah Basin, oil and gas production is 80 percent or more of our economy. It is obvious that the energy production greatly affects the livelihoods of thousands of people. These are people who I know and love, people who I have shared blood, sweat and tears with.

When the oil field first came around, the economic staples in the basin were small family-owned farming operations, local utility businesses and a few local grocers. Arable land was not readily available for any substantial and effective economic growth. That means that sons and daughters had to move away. The oil field has allowed families to stick around and stick together. Communities in eastern Utah have seen much growth due to the economical increase that the oil field brought and is currently bringing into their communities.

I believe the oil field has provided many opportunities and has been doing so my entire life. Might I add, it has been doing so responsibly, environmentally and economically. I look forward to the day that alternative energy will be able to compete with oil and gas production through the free market. This would mean an even greater economic advantage for Utah.

Shelby Thayne

Altonah, Duchesne County