Amy Joi O’Donoghue, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — A coalition of environmental groups is asking Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes to declare a pending $53 million loan for an Oakland export shipping port illegal, asserting that mineral lease monies can’t be spent out of state for a private purpose.
The Center for Biological Diversity, the Sierra Club, the Grand Canyon Trust and Earthjustice sent a letter Monday to Reyes asking him to nix the deal because they say the would-be loan violates state and federal laws.
“Funding a private coal export terminal in California with Utah’s federal mineral leasing monies, to enable greater coal production in Utah, violates Congress’ intent to alleviate the impacts of existing federal mineral development with those funds,” the letter states. “The plain language of the Mineral Leasing Act, the act’s legislative history, and the Utah attorney general’s own interpretation of the act all confirm that funding private economic development is a misuse of federal mineral leasing monies.” (…)
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