Oakland Ban on Dirty Coal Kills Plan for Massive Export Terminal

The City of Oakland, California took a bold step towards protecting the health of its citizens and the global environment on Monday after city council members voted unanimously to ban the storage and handling of coal and petroleum coke in the city.

The ban, sought by local environmental groups for over a year, is expected to derail plans for a massive export terminal on the city-owned waterfront, known as the Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal (OBOT).

According to the San Francisco chapter of the Sierra Club, the port developers “have been quietly soliciting a partnership with four Utah counties to export up to ten million tons of coal out of Oakland each year. The partnership would make Oakland the largest coal-export facility on the West Coast, and would increase national coal exports by a whopping 19 percent.”

Community members opposed to the planned facility rallied both in and outside Monday’s overflow hearing. The San Jose Mercury News reports:

“This is what grassroots organizing looks like,” Bruce Nilles, senior campaign director for Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, declared on social media.