California blocks state funds for coal terminals

California blocks state funds for coal terminals
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California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed into law a bill to prevent state funds from paying for any coal-shipping terminals.

The legislation is aimed specifically at a plan to construct a terminal in Oakland to export coal from Utah and other western states to foreign markets like China.

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Brown signed the bill late Friday, less than 24 hours after the state Senate gave its final approval to the legislation, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

It came weeks after Oakland’s city council voted unanimously to ban coal shipping from the city. Phil Tagami, the developer behind the export terminal planned near the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, has hinted that he may sue the city for its ban.

“I believe action on multiple fronts will be necessary to transition away from coal,” Brown said in a signing message with his approval, according to the Chronicle.

“In California, we’re divesting from thermal coal in our state pensions, shifting to renewable energy, and, last year, coal exports from California ports declined by more than one-third, from 4.65 million to 2.96 million tons. That’s a positive trend we need to build on.”

The export terminal would have required at least some state funds as part of a redevelopment of a massive Army terminal in West Oakland, the Chronicle reports.