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Herbert Discusses California Coal Port Plan

A Utah lawmaker wants to invest $51 million in taxpayer money to build a coal shipping port in California. 

The California terminal is opposed by locals and environmental groups but supporters of the plan including Governor Gary Herbert, who said it would help rural Utah's coal country.

“I think that it is a little unfortunate that we would have a state that, for whatever the reasons are, to say you cannot ship your legal product through our state. Again, I’ve mentioned that if they greeted us on I-15 going into California and over the barrier and say, “You cannot bring your product into the state of California,” we would have a lot of concerns about that. I don’t see a difference between that and shipping out of one of the ports located in California.”

The bill would allow revenue to be used to acquire a deep-water port near Oakland, California, and use it to export Utah coal overseas. Sen. Stuart Adams, a Layton Republican, said the move would help rural energy-producing parts of the state with high unemployment rates.

Sierra Club's Utah chapter director Mark Clemens has called the plan a "misappropriation" of public money and said the world market is already saturated with coal.

Listen to full report here: 

Governor Herbert Press Conference