NEWS: Groups demand federal probe into Utah role in coal port

Brian Maffly
Salt Lake Tribune
June 20, 2016

Several environmental groups on Monday sent a joint letter to federal authorities asking them to investigate Utah’s plan to sink $53 million of federal mineral royalties — revenue that should be dedicated to local public works projects — into a deepwater terminal in Oakland, Calif., that would ship Utah coal oversees.

The groups allege Utah leaders are brazenly circumventing common-sense limits on how the Utah Permanent Community Impact Fund Board, or CIB, is to administer such revenue. This past legislative session, lawmakers passed a bill authorizing the CIB to trade its federally sourced dollars with state dollars that would be targeted to “throughput” projects geared toward moving Utah products to distant markets.

While the measure was billed as a way to boost the economic prospects of rural Utah, critics call it a “money-laundering scheme” to subsidize Bowie Resource Partners, Utah’s largest coal producer, at the expense of the environment.

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