Coal Transport from Utah to Oakland update 11/13/2019

We have been watching the case of Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal LLC against the City of Oakland play out for several years.  This project, started by Phil Tagami and his investment-developer group years ago to reinvent the old Oakland Army Base, was to build a large terminal to accept coal from Utah that will be exported to Asia.  Oakland terminated his lease in 2018 because of concerns over air quality, pollution, and health of residents.

ECP Environmental Justice supports Oakland’s efforts, and Richmond’s as well, to keep coal from crossing through our neighbor cities and causing coal dust pollution that will affect air quality not only for those cities, but ours, and every one of the cities in the Bay Area. Coal dust is dangerous for people with respiratory conditions, such as asthma, and for normally healthy people too.

For the latest news, see https://insideclimatenews.org/news/13112019/coal-export-terminal-oakland-lawsuit-pollution-climate-change-utah-wyoming-california

Please write your elected city, regional, and state officials and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the California Air Resources Board and urge them to support the banning of coal transportation through the State and the Bay Area.

Repeated Pipeline Leaks – Take Action

When El Cerrito Progressives first started meeting, the Dakota pipeline was one of our first environmental justice campaigns outside El Cerrito. Although much of our work focuses on local issues, everything and everyone is connected, whether it’s coal being transported from Utah through neighboring Richmond, plastic being used to serve our food, or pipelines 1000s of miles north and east of us. We wrote letters to the CEOs of the banks that invested in the pipeline and sent letters in solidarity with people whose lives would be affected by the XL.

Reading the Reuters article about the permit that was issued to allow extra pressure beyond the standard in the Dakota pipeline leads me think the Keystone Pipeline permit should be investigated, especially because of the major spill reported on October 31 in the NY Times.

During my visit to Alaska in August, a friend took me to see the above-ground pipe in Fairbanks. I am not an engineer. Although I marveled at how the design and construction could support the pressure and flow rate over 1000 gallons per day, I could see how leaks could occur because of land movement and other acts (e.g., vandalism, which has been reported). There have been leaks along this pipeline, and it is being considered for pipelines coming from the Arctic Refuge after it is opened to drilling.

On Sept 12 it was reported that the Trump Administration cleared a legal hurdle about drilling in the Arctic Refuge, claiming negligible negative impact on the environment. A day later Congress voted to block drilling

Given the multiple leaks and negative environmental impacts of pipelines and drilling along the Alaska pipeline, Dakota pipeline, and elsewhere, the administration’s claim has no foundation.

Take a stand against the pillaging of our natural resources for monetary gain and stand in favor of social and environmental wellbeing, whether it’s writing a letter write letters to elected officials, organizations like EarthJustice, NRDC, Sierra Club, and the Audubon Society , donating money, or going to sites to protest.

Adelante,

Barbara Chan
Convener, Environmental Justice Committee
El Cerrito Progressives
Progressive Civic Engagement
https://elcerritoprogressives.com/category/environmental-justice/’

Call Senators Now-Support EPA

This news just came in from the League of  Conservation Voters:


Earlier this year, Trump announced he wanted to slash the EPA’s budget by 31% — a total gut-job on the agency that would zero out key environmental programs. He also proposed 14% cuts to the Interior Department.

Well… this is a big update. After months of negotiations and intense campaigning, the House just passed a budget deal that actually increasesfunding for the EPA and Interior Departments — AND would remove Big Polluter requests that have been slipped into spending bills for years. 

This is a huge rebuke of Trump and his dangerous policies. Now, the package goes to the Senate — a vote will happen as soon as Monday. 

We need to make sure a clean bill gets through the Senate and sets up a path forward on these important government environmental programs. No poison-pill riders. No anti-environment attacks.

But with only a short window before a vote, we need to mobilize — and fast. We need your help to push this campaign over the finish line — the vote could be close.

# # #

Please call Senators who are on the fence about funding the EPA. 

Barbara – for ECP Environmental Justice

Click here to Reply

El Cerrito Natural Update – Eliminate Plastic Packaging

Sixty-three (63) people signed our letter to El Cerrito Natural at our booth at the 4th of July Festival.

I presented your letters and signatures to the General Manager on July 23.  El Cerrito Grocery is an employee-owned business. The GM, store supervisor, and staff all very much want to eliminate toxic plastic, and I learned that it will take time.

Good grocery business is complex: how to meet the desires of customers so they will keep patronizing the store, how to keep produce fresh, and how to conduct business in alignment with the owners’ values.

Coincidentally, the leadership team had a scheduled meeting this afternoon. On the agenda was the subject of plastic. The GM promised to take the letters to the meeting and share our request.

In the immediate, the store plans to eliminate clamshell lettuce that duplicates what is sold in bulk, i.e., the mixed salad greens. Some of the specialty lettuces are not available in bulk and the staff is concerned that customers will abandon El Cerrito Natural if they cannot buy those items there. I suggested they poll the customers for their preferences. The GM said they welcome customers to tell them their preferences as that helps them make decisions about what to stock in the store.

At the Annex, they have eliminated the biocompostable cups and brought in metal cups for water. They welcome people to bring their own containers for takeout, instead of using the paperboard containers they provide.

Thanks to everyone for your support to make El Cerrito healthier for all.

Barbara Chan

Film: FROM PARIS TO PITTSBURGH 9/21/2019

Despite the federal government’s inaction and attempts to deny the effects of its policies on the environment and society, people across the United State are taking action to combat climate change. Join us to watch this National Geographic film about inspired and inspiring people working to make a difference and talk with fellow human beings about ways we can make a difference locally.

Saturday, September 21 @ 7PM

Berkeley Zion Presbyterian Church, 545 Ashbury Ave., El Cerrito

Free

Seats are limited–Reserve yours now https://www.eventbrite.com/e/film-from-paris-to-pittsburgh-tickets-65316386069