Connect with us

City Government

Senator Hancock Introduces Bills to Restrict Coal Exports Through Oakland

Published

on

Citing health and environmental threats posed by increased coal shipments in and out of California, Senator Loni Hancock on Friday introduced four proposed laws to restrict exports of the pollution-inducing fuel source.

 

 

“I was shocked when I first learned that a development project on the former Oakland Army Base would export millions of tons of coal to China and other countries,” said Hancock during a press release at her district office in downtown Oakland.

 

 

“As the state senator for this area, I cannot sit by while the residents of West Oakland face their own Keystone Pipeline. Truth is, the proposed coal depot is so problematic that I believe it warrants a multi-bill response,” said Hancock.

 

Loni Hancock. Photo by Rich Pedroncelli, Associated Press

Loni Hancock. Photo by Rich Pedroncelli, Associated Press

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noting that the City of Oakland is debating a large publicly funded project for exporting coal, Hancock (D-Oakland) said she felt compelled to introduce legislation to “close loopholes in the law and ensure that other cities will not face similar problems in the future,” according to a press release from the senator’s office.

 

 

Joining Hancock in supporting her bills were environmentalists, labor leaders, community activists and Kevin De León, Senate Pro Tem of the California Senate and author of last year’s measure bill to fight global warming, Senate Bill 350.

 

 

“Continuing to invest in coal is a bad bet for Oakland,” De León said in a statement. “We can certainly find better uses of limited public funds than to invest in a dying industry that brings a host of public health and environmental drawbacks.”

 

 

Other speakers in support of Hancock’s bills included Derrick Muhammad, a local labor leader and treasurer for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU Local 10), Nate Henderson, an Oakland high school student with the New Voices Are Rising Project of the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment, and Margaret Gordon, a community organizer with the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project.

 

 

According to the senator’s press release, “Each cited environmental concerns and a seeming blind eye toward industries that bill themselves as ‘job creators’ with apparent disregard to the impact on the health and well-being of residents, workers and the environment.”

 

 

“For a worker who would be handling coal every day, the proposal to bring coal in to Oakland is a drastic and unhealthy situation,” Muhammad said. “Coal export poses substantial dangers to workers at the site and the coal dust that would be produced also poses a serious danger to workers.”

 

 

Margaret Gordon said the nine million tons of coal each year that would be brought through Oakland would have a negative impact on the city, the region, the state and the far West.

 

 

“Although Sen. Hancock’s bills cannot retroactively fix the situation in Oakland, I am glad that they bring light to the negative impact that coal would have in our lives,” Gordon said.

 

 

Hancock said two of her bills specifically take on the proposed terminal in Oakland. The other two add additional restrictions on the transportation of coal through California.

 

 

SB 1277 declares that the transportation of coal through West Oakland “would present a clear and present danger to the health and safety of Oakland residents as well as the workers that would handle the coal.” This bill also prohibits the shipment of coal through the Oakland facility, which has been paid, in part for, with state funds.

 

 

SB 1278 would require an environmental impact review from any public agency that has authority in approving any portion of a project relating to the shipment of coal through Oakland.

 

 

On a state level, SB 1279 would prohibit the use of public funds to build or operate any port that exports coal from California. It also applies to any port near disadvantaged communities.

 

 

SB 1280 requires port facilities that ship bulk commodities and receive state funds to prohibit coal shipments or fully mitigate the green-house gas emissions associated with the combustion of the coal.

 

 

“The City of Oakland needs to act on its own to prohibit shipping coal and protect the community,” Hancock said, emphasizing that the bills would not work retroactively.

 

 

“There is a provision in the development contract that allows the city to consider the health and safety of the surrounding community and the workers. I urge the City Council to use its authority and prohibit coal,” said Hancock.

 

 

“Frankly, it’s not acceptable to have the City of Oakland build a large new facility to export coal to places like China where people often must cover their faces or stay inside to avoid breathing dirty air,” she said.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Bay Area

Nigerian Ambassador Visits Oakland

The Nigerian embassy came to the Oakland Airport Executive Hotel from June 3-5, 2022, in response to complaints of delays in processing passports and lack of access to embassy support. 

Published

on

By Uche Uwahemu

The Nigerian Embassy in Washington, DC was in Oakland for three days recently to provide needed passport services to Nigerians in the Bay Area and beyond.

The Nigerian embassy came to the Oakland Airport Executive Hotel from June 3-5, 2022, in response to complaints of delays in processing passports and lack of access to embassy support.

Seen as a way of taking the embassy to the people, the event brought with it some dignitaries, including Nigerian Ambassador/Deputy Chief of Mission Mukhtar Ibrahim Bashir, Embassy Minister Peter Edako, and Nigerian Head of Mission/US Embassy Amiru Abdulmajid.

“Our goal is to meet Nigerian citizens where they are and provide services to them,” said Bashir. “I think we met our goal with more than 400 people that received services in Oakland alone.”

The president of Nigerian American Public Affairs Committee (NAPAC), Dr. Veronica Ofoegbune, echoed the sentiment of the ambassador by saying, “this event is an absolute success and we are happy that Nigerians took advantage of the opportunity to renew their passports.”

The ambassador and his team also met with Oakland City Councilmember Loren Taylor to discuss the possible business opportunities and sister city bilateral relationships between Oakland and Nigeria.  “Nigeria is one of the largest markets in Africa,” said Taylor. “I welcome the opportunity to open that market for our small businesses and investors from Oakland.”

Continue Reading

Bay Area

Parties Work to Preserve Tiburon Peninsula Land

“Marin County Parks is pleased to support the long-time efforts of the community and now TPL to protect this stunning landscape,” said Parks Director Max Korten. “I look forward to the work ahead with all stakeholders and the potential of caring for this special place, for its unique natural resources and to provide outstanding recreation opportunities for all to enjoy.”

Published

on

The private parcel above Tiburon known as the Martha Property has been with the same family for more than 100 years.
The private parcel above Tiburon known as the Martha Property has been with the same family for more than 100 years.

Proposal to convert Martha Property on Easton Point into County open space

Courtesy of Marin County

One of the most pristine pieces of undeveloped property in the San Francisco Bay Area could be preserved as open space under a proposed agreement between the County of Marin, the property ownership group, and an environmentally minded nonprofit.

The 110-acre parcel on Easton Point, often called the Martha Property because of the ownership group’s name, is near the southern tip of the Tiburon Peninsula and overlooking Tiburon, Belvedere, Sausalito, Angel Island, San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge, and beyond. For more than 50 years, nearby residents were uncertain whether the land would be developed for homes or left unscathed for the preservation of nature and recreational purposes. The land has been with the same family for more than 100 years.

On June 21, the Marin County Open Space District Board of Directors will discuss a proposed purchase and sale agreement for the County to acquire the Martha Property from the ownership group and partner with the Trust for Public Land (TPL) on a two-year plan to raise funds and finalize the purchase. The goal would be to transfer the property to the Open Space District and either add it to the existing adjacent Old Saint Hilary’s Open Space Preserve or create a new preserve.

Tiburon Peninsula residents have longed to protect the Martha-owned parcel, which is habitat for several species of rare native plants. Its preservation and acquisition is cited in the Open Space District’s strategic plan of 2008 and long-range plans of the nonprofit Greenbelt Alliance.

The terms of the purchase agreement include $26.1 million from the Open Space District and a term expiration date of Aug. 30, 2024. Of that price, approximately $18 million would be raised by a localized special tax known as a Mello-Roos bond measure – the same arrangement that was made to purchase the Old Saint Hilary’s site in the late 1990s. If approved by a two-thirds majority of voters in the November 2022 election, only property owners in Tiburon east of Trestle Glen Boulevard and the City of Belvedere would be subjected to the tax.

The total price of the land is $42.1 million, pending several conditions to closing stipulated by the agreement. The breakdown in funding sources would be: $18 million from the Mello-Roos bond measure; $15 million from private donations coordinated by TPL; $6 million from Measure A tax revenues; $2.1 from the Old Saint Hilary’s bond measures in 1993 and 1997.

Measure A, which is on pace to be renewed with approximately 75% support during the June 7 election, is a quarter-cent sales tax that supports parks, open space, and sustainable agriculture across Marin.

“Marin County Parks is pleased to support the long-time efforts of the community and now TPL to protect this stunning landscape,” said Parks Director Max Korten. “I look forward to the work ahead with all stakeholders and the potential of caring for this special place, for its unique natural resources and to provide outstanding recreation opportunities for all to enjoy.”

The deal would not proceed if voters reject the Mello-Roos bond measure or if TPL is unsuccessful in raising the private funds.

For more details on the proposal, see the Open Space District’s staff report and presentation to the Board of Supervisors and the TPL statement.

Continue Reading

Bay Area

Fourth of July Reminder: No Fireworks in Marin, Please

Revelers might be tempted to bring fireworks into Marin and commence with risky activities, often fueled by alcohol consumption. It’s a serious no-no, so locals are asked to spread the word about resisting the temptation. Many locals know that and adhere to the law, but holiday visitors from other counties and other states might not know.

Published

on

In this drought, a single spark can lead to a significant wildland or structure fire.
In this drought, a single spark can lead to a significant wildland or structure fire.

Don’t let your guard down over the holiday weekend…Play it safe

Courtesy of Marin County

One gently floating ember from a cookout or a firecracker could ignite widespread tragedy in Marin County’s parched landscape. The Marin County Fire Department is urging all residents and visitors to remember that fireworks are illegal in the county, not just on the upcoming Fourth of July weekend but at all times.

Revelers might be tempted to bring fireworks into Marin and commence with risky activities, often fueled by alcohol consumption. It’s a serious no-no, so locals are asked to spread the word about resisting the temptation. Many locals know that and adhere to the law, but holiday visitors from other counties and other states might not know.

The fireworks ordinance will be enforced to reduce fire risk, protect natural resources and — most importantly — to preserve personal safety. The Marin County Sheriff’s Office plans to have extra deputies on duty for enforcement over the holiday.

“It won’t take much to trigger an historic-level disaster,” said Marin County Fire Chief Jason Weber. “The dry conditions are highly dangerous, especially when it’s windy. You can still have a good time without letting your guard down. Public safety and protecting property have to be high on your priority list.”

Marin County Fire, the Sheriff’s Office, and rangers from Marin County Parks are joining first responders from local agencies to prepare for a summer coming-out party. All illegal activities and behavior issues witnessed by Marin County Parks rangers will be reported to law enforcement or fire agencies, and enforcement will take place whether or not an incident takes place on private property or at a County government property. A misdemeanor offense of using or possessing fireworks in Marin could cost an offender $410 – that’s $100 for the base fine plus $310 in penalty assessments and surcharges.

Even if temperatures are not high, beaches and pools are expected to be popular gathering spots during the holiday weekend. It could include shoreline excursions or poolside celebrations at which lapses in water safety are high. Parents need to make sure kids are water safe around all bodies of water, from the Pacific Ocean to San Francisco Bay to wading pools. Adults need to avoid distractions as they keep an eye on youngsters, including an overindulgence in alcoholic beverages. Drowning continues to be a leading cause of injury and death for children ages 1-4. Wearing life jackets and having other floatation devices handy is a must.

Folks who would like to see legal fireworks are encouraged to attend the Marin County Fair, which offers a professionally handled fireworks display each night from June 30 through July 4 in San Rafael. The fair receives a permit from the City of San Rafael to conduct the nightly shows.

Continue Reading

Subscribe to receive news and updates from the Oakland Post

* indicates required

CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE OF THE OAKLAND POST

ADVERTISEMENT

WORK FROM HOME

Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: Lynne4npusa@gmail.com 800-334-0540

Facebook

Trending