Why Oakland should divest from coal
In April 2014, the Utah Permanent Community Fund Board, a special state agency that makes grants to rural Utah counties for sewers, fire stations and other municipal improvements, quietly approved an unusual $ 53 million low- interest loan to Sever, Carbon, Emery and Sanpete counties. In a presentation to the board, Jeffrey Holt and several commissioners representing the four counties said the funds would contribute to a $ 200 million maritime terminal in Oakland that would export many different commodities. Appearing with Holt and county officials was Mark McClure, vice- president of California Capital Investment Group.
Utah SB246 would authorize $ 53 million in public funds for investment in an expansion of Port of Oakland and is intended to allow Utah to have an export portal to its sizable coal market to buyers on the Pacific Rim. Environmental groups in both Utah and California have launched an aggressive campaign in opposition to the proposed Oakland Coal Terminal and the Utah legislative manipulation of the $ 53 million dollar through SB246.
Additionally, in California, the call for divestment of funds from coal have come from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and the state’s teachers retirement fund, and Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has asked all insurance companies in California to voluntarily divest their funds in coal. Now, it’s time for California Attorney General Kamala Harris to contact Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes to advise Utah Gov. Gary Herbert not to sign SB246.
San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition21 Mar 2016 Page 11