Trying to thwart coal companies from exporting their product overseas, California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation banning state transportation funding of new coal export terminals in his state. Environmentalists pushed the measure in the state legislature with hopes of blocking West coast shipments of coal to energy markets in Asia. They launched their drive after one developer attempted to build a coal terminal in Oakland using funding from the state of Utah. Coal from Utah is now shipped through ports in Richmond, Stockton and Long Beach.
The environmentalists contend exporting U.S. coal will only discourage China and other Asian countries from investing in cleaner technology and only worsen global warming.
As for Gov. Brown, he has joined the environmentalists and their cause, writing to state lawmakers saying state and local governments should move to ultimately eliminate coal shipments through all California ports. The measure he recently signed into law applies to projects proposed after Jan. 1, 2017 and will stop state transportation funds, often a key source of money for port construction from being used to expand existing facilities or build new ones involving coal shipments.