Oakland puts the breaks on Utah’s plan to ship coal

Source: Good 4 Utah

Oakland puts the breaks on Utah’s plan to ship coal through the Bay Area city.
Oakland’s City Council voted unanimously Monday to block the handling and storage of coal in Oakland.

Citing concerns over air pollution and the health of nearby residents, hundreds spoke out against plans to build a new coal export terminal in the Port of Oakland. After more than 4 hours, the city council voted unanimously to block the handling and storage of coal in Oakland. This effectively halts plans for a terminal that Utah approved investing $53 million into in exchange for a throughput to ship Utah coal.

Chase Thomas, with Alliance for a Better Utah, was there in Oakland and spoke to the council about why some Utah residents don’t want Utah coal shipped through the proposed port. Thomas told GoodUtah, “With Oakland taking this action, showing that they don’t want coal being transported through their community, we hope that it will give our Utah leaders a second chance to look at what they’re doing and whether this money could be used in better ways.”

But those in Carbon County, one of four counties pushing for the coal terminal, aren’t giving up hope. Carbon County Commissioner Jae Potter said, “We are still very hopeful that things could change there. We continue to work on our throughput and contracts that would enable this to be a good investment for Utah.”

While they wait on what’s likely going to be legal battle in Oakland, Potter says it’s possible they’ll pursue other avenues to get their coal out of state. “The monies were put into a throughput infrastructure fund and in that there were 3 or 5 things that were talked about: ports, rail and pipeline.”

The Oakland City Council needs a second vote to make the ordinance official.

Read Good 4 Utah article and watch news clip here.

Leave a Comment