NEWS: Groups write U.S. Attorney General asking for investigation of coal shipping terminal deal

Ben Lockhart
Deseret News
June 21, 2016

Environmental groups and other organizations sent a letter Monday asking U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and other high-ranking federal officials to investigate a $53 million investment in a proposed coal shipping terminal in Oakland, California.

The letter was written on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity, Living Rivers and Colorado Riverkeeper, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, Earthjustice, Alliance for a Better Utah, HEAL Utah, Sierra Club and Grand Canyon Trust. A joint statement released by the organizations Monday says the 19-page letter brings attention to “potential legal and ethical violations” of the investment.

“This appears to represent the worst kind of corporate cronyism that members of the Utah Legislature are usually so fond of rallying against,” Joshua Kanter, board chairman of the Alliance for a Better Utah, said in a news release. “Diverting these funds is not only improper, but will leave these communities without the money they really need to help them retool their economic base as the coal industry continues its decline. There has been no showing that there is a shortage of available port capacity for Utah coal or that exporting Utah coal to Asia makes economic sense, either of which is easily addressed by the free market without this shell game and abuse of the public trust.”

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