Oakland coal port scheme still lurks in the shadows

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.

4 thoughts on “Oakland coal port scheme still lurks in the shadows

  1. Update says:

    Groups demand federal probe into Utah role in coal port http://www.sltrib.com/news/4027418-155/groups-demand-federal-probe-into-utah Utah legislators approved a measure that allows four Utah counties to spend $53 million of federal mineral royalties to help fund a deep water coal port off the coast of California to give Utah coal producers access to overseas markets, a move environmental groups asked the federal government to review because they believe the project is aimed more at bailing out Bowie Resources, the state’s largest coal producer, than furthering the public good.

  2. Brenda Lee says:

    On Monday evening, the Oakland City Council voted unanimously to prohibit the transport and storage of coal in the California city and passed an associated resolution that applies the prohibition to the Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal, in which four Utah counties had secured $53 million in state funds to invest. The City Council has scheduled a second vote on the measures on July 9. (Salt Lake Tribune; 06/28/2016) http://www.sltrib.com/news/4054521-155/oakland-city-council-votes-to-ban

  3. Last call says:

    “Coal Glut, Environmental Pushback Derail West Coast Port Plans : Once promising, exports to Asia have been undermined by oversupply, demise of port projects” (Wall Street Journal, 08-01-2016) http://www.wsj.com/articles/coal-glut-environmental-pushback-derail-west-coast-port-plans-1470070765 “A global glut has flooded overseas markets that were once expected to buy coal produced along a belt stretching from Utah to Montana that includes the Powder River Basin. The industry is also losing long-sought shipping outlets on the West Coast, where local communities have blocked construction of coal terminals amid concerns about climate change and pollution. Out of seven West Coast export terminals proposed in the past five years—which combined could have handled over 125 million tons of coal annually—not one has opened.”

  4. Update says:

    “On Friday, the Washington State Department of Ecology released the final EIS on the proposed Millennium Bulk Terminals coal port in Longview, which would be North America’s largest. The project is the last of six proposed Pacific Northwest coal-export terminals still standing, but it faces steep hurdles before it can be built and begin sending Wyoming and Montana coal across the Pacific to Asian markets.” http://billingsgazette.com/business/features/washington-state-finishes-study-of-proposed-port-for-montana-and/article_9bf98c2e-07c4-59ec-81a2-18b9b46f565d.html “Coal consumption in China, the Pacific Rim’s largest coal consumer, fell in 2016 for the third consecutive year. Chinese leaders have signaled they’re cutting back coal burning to reduce pollution, which could hurt demand from exports through Longview.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.