Earth Island Journal
June 29, 2016
The Oakland City Council took a strong stand against coal Monday night. Following a long and often emotional city council meeting—during which whistles and cheers were at times met with boos and yelling—the council passed an ordinance prohibiting the storage and handling of coal and petcoke at Oakland facilities and a resolution that would specifically apply the ordinance to the Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal (OBOT), which is being built on the old Oakland Army Base.
The meeting drew hundreds of impassioned Oakland residents, including representatives from the labor, faith, environmental and health communities, as well as the terminal developers. Those speaking against the terminal emphasized that West Oakland already suffers the effects of disproportionate air pollution. They argued that added particulate pollution tied to the coal export terminal could elevate the risk of health problems like asthma, cancer and lung and heart disease.
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