The Senator Versus Coal

first_imgThe Senator Versus Coal FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The coal industry — responsible for much of the CO2 pollution driving climate change — is dying, and State Senator Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, wants to help bury it. Hancock, whose district encompasses much of the East Bay, from Rodeo to San Leandro, has spent the last half year drafting legislation designed to prevent millions of tons of coal from being transported by train through the East Bay and exported from a marine terminal that is to be built in Oakland near the foot of the Bay Bridge. Hancock also wants to block any future coal export schemes in the state.Hancock made a last ditch effort to convince Utah’s lawmakers that subsidizing an Oakland coal terminal is unwanted and risky. “I strongly oppose your bill to invest $53 million in Utah taxpayers’ money to build a coal-export terminal in California,” Hancock wrote in a March 2 letter to Utah Senator Adams. “Environmental groups from Oakland and the Bay Area strongly oppose the transport of coal and are working together to stop the project.”Hancock also informed Adams of her four anti-coal bills that will be considered by the California Senate in April. “I would think that Utah residents would also question whether their hard-earned tax dollars should be going to build a railroad and port terminal in another state instead of promoting sustainable economic development in Utah,” she wrote.Some Utah lawmakers raised Hancock’s criticisms during debates in the Senate and House of Representatives last week, but Adams’ $53 million coal subsidy was approved by both houses and will likely be signed by Governor Herbert.Hancock said the use of public money is a bad investment in a “dying industry” and can only result in environmental damage and economic losses. She said it appears that the coal industry is attempting to use public money to stay afloat, because private investors have all but abandoned coal.“Institutional investors are pulling out of coal,” said Tom Sanzillo of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a think tank that promotes renewable energy development. “The industry isn’t collapsing, it has collapsed.”last_img

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