OAKLAND CAL. CITY COUNCIL BANS COAL SHIPMENTS FROM PORT

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28 june 2016

Oakland bans coal shipments in a blow to planned export facility

William Yardley, Los Angeles Times, June 28, 2016

Oakland city leaders have voted overwhelmingly to ban the storage and handling of coal within city limits, dealing a likely fatal blow to an effort to build what would be the largest coal export facility in California.

The city council voted unanimously Monday, with one member not present, on two ordinances related to the project. The ban also applies to petroleum coke. Under city policy, the ban will not receive final approval unless it is passed in a second vote, to be held July 19. That is widely expected to happen.

The vote came after four hours of sometimes raucous public testimony and more than a year after the issue first began roiling local politics.

Supporters of a ban cited studies showing pollution risks, including to industrial West Oakland, a part of the city that already suffers more than most places from severe rates of child asthma, cancer and other pollution-related diseases. They also said the ban would limit the burning of fossil fuels in Asia, the intended market for the coal.

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