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San Francisco Bay area town votes to shut main US coal export terminal

SAN FRANCISCO Bay area Richmond city council has voted to impose a ban on coal, targeting a terminal that handles about a quarter of exports from the US west coast, reports Bloomberg News

San Francisco Bay area town votes to shut main US coal export terminal

SAN FRANCISCO Bay area Richmond city council has voted to impose a ban on coal, targeting a terminal that handles about a quarter of exports from the US west coast, reports Bloomberg News

22 January 2020 - 19:00

SAN FRANCISCO Bay area Richmond city council has voted to impose a ban on coal, targeting a terminal that handles about a quarter of exports from the US west coast, reports Bloomberg News.

Richmond is joining several west coast cities that have prohibited shipping the fossil fuel through their ports, choking off key routes to one of the few coal markets in the world still growing.



As utilities burn less coal in the US, environmentalists and lawmakers see the ordinances barring exports as a way to both limit local pollution from coal dust and reduce greenhouse gases globally.



Said Richmond Mayor Tom Butt: 'I've got bigger ambitions than just Richmond. I'd like to get rid of coal worldwide.'



The ordinance in Richmond targets a port operated by Levin-Richmond Terminal Corp. In 2018, the facility shipped almost one million tonnes of coal to Japan and South Korea. The legislation gives the port three years to stop coal shipments. The ordinance also includes petroleum coke, a by-product of oil refining that's another major product handled by the terminal.



Levin-Richmond Terminal CEO Gary Levin said the law would put him out of business and has threatened to sue.



Oakland passed a law in 2016 barring coal exports. In 2014, Oregon regulators denied a permit to a proposed coal-export terminal on the Columbia River.


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