Groups Seek Federal Inquiry Into Utah-Oakland Coal-Export Subsidy

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享From KSL News (Salt Lake City):Environmental groups and other organizations sent a letter Monday asking U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and other high-ranking federal officials to investigate a $53 million investment in a proposed coal shipping terminal in Oakland, California.The letter was written on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity, Living Rivers and Colorado Riverkeeper, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, Earthjustice, Alliance for a Better Utah, HEAL Utah, Sierra Club and Grand Canyon Trust. A joint statement released by the organizations Monday says the 19-page letter brings attention to “potential legal and ethical violations” of the investment.“The contents of this letter require an external review by several oversight bodies. … The economic, fiscal, financial, environmental, governance, ethical and political red flags raised by the state of Utah’s actions are too numerous to ignore,” Tom Sanzillo, an executive with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a research organization in favor of reducing coal dependence, said in a statement.The investment, passed by the Utah Legislature earlier this year, is slated to grant Carbon, Emery, Sanpete and Sevier counties 49 percent access in the as-yet unbuilt coal terminal. Proponents of the measure say it will help increase short-term coal exports to developing countries, a much-needed boon for the struggling industry.The investment is set to be facilitated by a three-way money transfer involving the state’s specially designated community impact fund, which according to its website “provides loans or grants to state agencies and subdivisions of the state that are socially or economically impacted by mineral resource development on federal lands.” The first stage of the transfer is to begin July 1.Keith Heaton, chairman of the fund’s board, has said the swapping of funds for the project is not considered unusual compared with other projects statewide, particularly transportation projects.However, opponents are also criticizing the community impact fund board, in addition to the state Legislature, and calling for an audit of the deal. Among other accusations, the letter issued Monday says the investment is tied to heavy political conflict of interest, was designed as a brazen a way around environmental and other regulations of the federal Mineral Leasing Act, and is environmentally harmful to residents close to the proposed terminal.John Weisheit, co-founder of the environmental group Living Rivers and Colorado Riverkeeper, said in a statement that the Community Impact Fund Board is complicit in an unscrupulous deal.“The Utah state Legislature and the community impact board are laundering public money through the state transportation fund to provide financial assistance to energy corporations, and not to communities where it truly belongs,” Weisheit said.The letter was also addressed to Mary Kendall, deputy inspector general for the U.S. Department of the Interior, and Gregory Gould, director of the federal Office of Natural Resources Revenue. The letter also indicated copies were distributed to Gov. Gary Herbert and John Huber, U.S. district attorney for Utah.Groups write US Attorney General asking for investigation of coal shipping terminal deal Groups Seek Federal Inquiry Into Utah-Oakland Coal-Export Subsidylast_img read more

Gov. Wolf Statement on Commitment to Fair and Equitable Treatment of All Pennsylvanians During COVID-19 Pandemic

first_imgGov. Wolf Statement on Commitment to Fair and Equitable Treatment of All Pennsylvanians During COVID-19 Pandemic March 30, 2020 Press Release,  Public Health Governor Tom Wolf today released a statement on his commitment to ensuring all Pennsylvanians receive fair and equitable access to lifesaving health care during the COVID-19 pandemic. His full statement is here:“Pennsylvania’s standards of care – in times of crisis and not – are based on an ethical allocation framework, meaning care is provided equitably across all populations without regard to patient age, race, gender, creed, color, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, ethnicity, religion, or socioeconomic status. We follow the provisions set forth in the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) and advise any Pennsylvanian who feels they or a loved one have been discriminated against in any way to contact the PHRC.“I will not tolerate discrimination in allocation of lifesaving resources based on any factor including, but not limited to age, disability and socioeconomic status to Pennsylvanians seeking medical care in our commonwealth. This belief is something I hold and expect at all times, but especially during this public health crisis. William Penn founded our state on tolerance and acceptance and that is a tenet we espouse today and every day. It is especially important in these unprecedented times when we all must work together to support each other.“I am committed to protecting all Pennsylvanians affected by COVID-19, and we will not discriminate in this fight.”Disability rights groups and the Medical Assistance Advisory Committee under the Department of Human Services have advocated for a clear policy prohibiting discrimination in the allocation of resources should the pandemic cause healthcare needs to exceed capacity. Governor Wolf and his administration have committed to establishing policy that strictly prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability or socioeconomic status in this fight against COVID-19.View this information in Spanish here.center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more