Target: Mayor of Oakland Jean Quan
Goal: Praise Oakland for placing a ban on coal transport in the city to help eliminate threats to the environment
The city of Oakland, California has unanimously agreed to ban the transport of coal in both Oakland and East Bay, claiming problems such as environmental threats, public health hazards, and public opposition against coal exports. The main focus, however, is climate change. While the city cannot regulate railroads, as this power is under federal law, it allows the city to take a stance on this heated debate. The city should be praised for its message, as the burning of coal is contributing to climate change.
Oakland has also made another resolution to ban the investment of city funds, or take ownership of a company that extracts, refine, produce, burn, or distribute fossil fuels. The city is also urging other local communities to do the same, in an effort to bring about clean air and water. It places Oakland alongside Berkeley and Richmond as other California cities that oppose the use of coal.
While Oakland does not have the power to stop coal exports on railroads, the community opposition has placed a dampener on its transport. West Coast states such as California, Oregon, and Washington have garnered enough opposition that it has become burdensome for coal and oil companies to do business there. Environmentalists are hoping that it will become too much of a hassle for either companies to do business in the West Coast. So, while the city cannot forbid the transport of coal on railroads, stating its stance could inevitably drive the business away from the area.
The burning of such resources has far more consequences than benefits, and the United States should focus its efforts on renewable and clean energy. The city of Oakland should be praised for its stance on coal, as it is sending a strong message to the federal government and to these dirty companies.
Dear Jean Quan,
Recently your city council voted on banning coal transports. While I understand that your city does not have the power to stop coal transports, Oakland is sending a strong message to the rest of the United States and to the coal industry. The burning of coal is not only harmful to the public, but it is also harmful to our climate. The release of greenhouse gases is making the global temperature rise, and it has resulted in the destruction of ecosystems.
I am writing this letter to praise your city for its stance against coal transport. While cities cannot outright ban the transport of coal, the message it sends should make the coal industry less inclined to business in Oakland.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Arnold Paul via Wikimedia Commons