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Oakland Passes Dirty Coal Ban Shutting Down Plan for Massive Export Terminal


Oakland Passes Dirty Coal Ban Shutting Down Plan for Massive Export Terminal

Lauren McCauley, staff writer

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).


Thank gawd this project was in the city's jurisdiction. Unanimous decision, brought by the mayor. Thank you people of Oakland for representin! "... punctuated by cheers, applause and outbursts from audience members on both sides of the issue." Curious who and how many of these supporters on the other side of the issue described in the article were in attendance. Are developers even individual human beings these days?

I live on the next bay north, about 5 hrs drive, Humboldt Bay, and it seems there's yet another simmering movement of drill baby drill types imagining our very shallow and fairly pristine bay as a deep water port and export facility. It is absolutely nonsensical because 1) The bay is shallow with a narrow mouth and dredging just fills back in rather quickly, with dredge material having no place to be "discarded." 2) There is nothing here to export since the timber industry retracted, all that old growth redwood just aint comin back in our lifetimes, so the idea is to build a rail east from the coast to the I-5, 150 miles of majestic mountains and rivers, which I have no idea how they would ever get that approved, let alone completed. And I don't know what that train would be picking up in Redding. 3) Last I heard no shipping companies have any interest in our fairly isolated position on the wildest most seismically active part of the pacific coast. The good old boys even have this idea of cruise ships porting here, which is really funny, if you know what Eureka is like. An LNG plant is all I can think would actually want to be here, and we definitively said NO to that back in 2004. 4) We are blessed with a fairly pristine bay, because we do not have deep water access, so we do not have the invasive species that ship hulls bring in and the fuel pollution etc. After decades of pulp mill pollution including dioxin, and other degrading timber related activities our Bay has been improving steadily thanks to community commitment to our environment and the leadership provided by Humboldt Bay Keepers. We have begun developing very light industry including a fisherman's terminal and processing center (where greenpeace's best rated tuna in the world Wild Planet is now brought in and canned.) Most of the baylands are off limits though as they are currently zoned coast-dependent large industry, so old infrastructures are crumbling all around and land owners are not able to diversify. Somehow the pro-port contingent has gained steam lately as our population sometimes forgets to pay attention to local issues and vote in local elections for board of supes and humboldt bay harbor, recreation, and conservation district, familiarly known as "the harbor district" as the old timers only focused on that. Between the university students concentrated in northern humboldt who leave for the summer, and the pot growers spread across the hills, its sometimes hard to be a cohesive electorate. We did manage to vote 68% Bernie though! highest in the state! and that was a full 3 weeks after Humboldt State Univ had ended its spring semester. I believe the momentum and energy unleasjed by the Sander's movement here will push my county past the old school thinking around here finally and for good and we'll begin to see a round of fresh honest bright faces entering politics. I intend to help.


The residents living in the vicinity of the Port of Oakland already have huge environmental degradation facing them everyday with noise, dirt/dust, toxic fumes (diesel smoke, i.e.) from myriad chemicals used in cleaning/maintaining the massive machinery, the semi-truck traffic and then the powers-that-be try to secretly authorize a massive coal export terminal. Absolutely inhumane and criminal! HOORAY for the people of Oakland and all who participated in the successful protest!!! WOO-HOO