At approximately 9:00 PM on Monday, June 27th, 2016, after likely more than a hundred public speakers, the Oakland City Council, by votes of 7-0 and 7-0, banned coal processing in Oakland and specifically banned the processing, loading and unloading of coal at a proposed bulk loading facility at an old Army Base facility in West Oakland.
This had been a bitter battle between the developers of the project — who had originally given written and verbal assurances that coal was not part of the plan and then reneged — and most of the Oakland community who wanted no part of the health, safety and environmental dangers associated with coal.
This is a big win for the environment, one which could well have national repercussions. More and more cities, counties and regions are looking to prevent the further extraction of fossil fuels, the shipment of such fuels through their lands, and the export of fossil fuels through their ports.
The coal was supposed to be shipped from Utah, through the Port of Oakland, to China. From the Salt Lake City Tribune’s almost immediate report:
Utah's push to export its coal culminated in a raucous Oakland City Council Monday where officials debated, and ultimately passed, an ordinance banning the chunky fossil fuel from passing through a major deep-water port taking shape on the shores of this Bay Area city.
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