Utahns Pay for a California Coal Port

Utah coal counties pledge $20M in state money to help get Oakland port back on track

Our most powerful members of the legislature have created a shell game so they can funnel $53 million of our money to a bankrupt coal company to develop a coal port in Oakland, California. That amounts to a reverse Robin Hood, theft from taxpayers to give to special interests, propping up an anachronistic, dying industry. This is made worse because that money was supposed to help develop compensatory projects for communities hurt by the loss of jobs and revenue from declining fossil fuel industries.

In our view, this is corrupt, illegal, and a stab in the back to everyone who’s future depends on a livable climate. It is shortsighted for those counties to keep hitching their economic wagons to coal.

The Salt Lake Tribune wrote an article about it, Utah coal counties pledge $20M in state money to help get Oakland port back on track:

Four coal-producing Utah counties are preparing to throw a $20 million lifeline to the bankrupt proponents of a deep-water export terminal in Oakland, Calif., a project that has been mired in controversy and litigation for years with no resolution in sight…The counties intend to tap for the first time a $53 million fund the Utah Legislature established in 2016 to support the development of [the port].

Read full article here.

UPHE is working with other groups in California to put a stop to this. We need to help stimulate an economic future for rural communities, but not by artificially subsidizing destructive industries that harm everyone else. Stay tuned on how you can help.