- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 2, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The Latest on a proposal to invest taxpayer money in a California shipping port (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

A California lawmaker is criticizing Utah legislators for advancing a proposal to spend more than $50 million in taxpayer funds to build a coal shipping port in Oakland, California.

California Sen. Loni Hancock, a Democrat, said in a statement Wednesday evening that she’s profoundly disappointed in her Utah counterparts who approved the plan.

Hancock says Californians fighting pollution will do everything they can to stop the coal shipment project.

The proposal calls for using sales tax revenue to acquire a deep-water port near Oakland and use it to export Utah coal overseas.

Utah Republican Sen. Stuart Adams sponsors the measure and says it would help rural, energy-producing parts of Utah.

It must still win approval from Utah’s Senate and House of Representatives in the six working days left in their legislative session.

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5:20 p.m.

A proposal to invest $51 million in taxpayer funds for a coal shipping port in California is speeding through Utah’s Legislature.

A Senate committee advanced the measure Wednesday afternoon, less than 48 hours after the measure was unveiled.

It must still win approval from Utah’s Senate and House of Representatives in the six working days left in the legislative session.

The proposal calls for using sales tax revenue to acquire a deep-water port near Oakland, California, and use it to export Utah coal overseas.

Layton Republican Sen. Stuart Adams sponsors the measure and says it would help rural, energy-producing parts of the state with high unemployment rates.

Several environmental groups oppose the measure, saying it’s a misuse of public money and an attempt to prop up a struggling coal industry.

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11:30 a.m.

A Utah lawmaker wants to invest $51 million in taxpayer money to build a coal shipping port in California.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports (https://bit.ly/1pmYd9k ) that the California terminal is opposed by locals and environmental groups but would help rural Utah’s coal country.

Sen. Stuart Adams, a Layton Republican, released the bill Monday with just eight working days left in the legislative session. It calls for using sales tax revenue to acquire a deep-water port near Oakland, California, and use it to export Utah coal overseas.

Adams says the move would help rural, energy-producing parts of the state with high unemployment rates.

Sierra Club’s Utah chapter director Mark Clemens has called the plan a “misappropriation” of public money and says the world market is already saturated with coal.

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