Don’t ap­peal the de­ci­sion

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - OPINION - John Ni­coles, Oak­land

I can­not agree with The Chron­i­cle’s rec­om­men­da­tion that the Oak­land City Coun­cil ap­peal U.S. Dis­trict Judge Vince Ch­habria’s de­ci­sion al­low­ing coal to be shipped from Oak­land. I have sev­eral rea­sons: First, there is lit­tle cause to be­lieve that the city can muster a co­gent ar­gu­ment against the de­ci­sion, mak­ing the ef­fort a waste of time and money. Fur­ther­more, if the city does come up with some­thing new, it will put it­self at risk of de­feat­ing its own pur­pose, since the al­ready ap­proved ship­ping of grain en­tails the same al­leged dust haz­ards as the ship­ping of coal.

Sec­ond, on the larger en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sue, all ma­jor coal-us­ing coun­tries (ex­cept, per­haps Trum­p­lan­dia) have agreed that coal must go; it just takes time. The lead­ing coun­tries are still about 10 years away, China a good deal fur­ther out. In the mean­time, it be­hooves those of us who live down­wind from China (all Cal­i­for­ni­ans) to have that coun­try burn the clean­est coal avail­able, and that would be our low-sul­fur coal. To ob­struct pro­vid­ing that coal is to pro­long the es­tab­lished haz­ards of sul­fu­ric acid in the at­mos­phere. Fi­nally, Oak­land needs jobs and com­merce, not friv­o­lous law­suits. The Oak­land City Coun­cil needs to lick its wounds and move on.

Paul Chinn / The Chron­i­cle

Cranes are docked near the site of a proposed coal ship­ping fa­cil­ity at the Port of Oak­land.


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