Utah has loaned four coal-producing counties $53 million to buy into the project to guarantee export throughput for coal and other commodities produced in central Utah. But coal shipments might not be welcome in Oakland.
A thick blanket of smoke has obscured the proposition to loan $53 million in state money to a private company for access to an unbuilt port in Oakland — coal smoke.
The project had shown up on the Utah Permanent Community Impact Board’s agenda last April simply as “Infrastructure — Throughput Capacity.” And when Utah’s four largest coal-producing counties pushing the loan made their pitch at that meeting, they didn’t even use the word “coal.”
Instead, the backers spent most of their time talking about how the port contract would help move “Utah products,” including alfalfa and salt. (If Utah put every hay cube it exports through that port, it would be around two percent of the port’s capacity. Utah’s loan is intended to fund one-fifth of the $275 million project.) There was also mention of potash, which none of the four counties even produce.
Just in case you were having a momentary brain fart and actually started believing what politicians say – instead of what they do.