Oakland, CA – A now-former City of Oakland Manager who talked to Zennie62Media on the condition of anonymity said that Phillip “Phil” Tagami, Managing Partner of California Capital and Investment Group, and developer of the planned Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal (OBOT) had “contractual rights” to build the facility.
That news flies in the face of what other City of Oakland officials have said, most notably elected politicians. The main problem for some of the Oakland councilmembers was that the OBOT is designed to shift minerals, including coal, from rail to container – and for them COAL in big letters is the problem.Phil Tagami has been told of the dicey politics behind the development, he does have an air-tight contractual standing to proceed with it." The former Oakland Manager said the reason why Mr. Tagami has the right to build the OBOT is the language of the development agreement, which lays out the building design and configuration, and also explains what it's supposed to do. Moreover, Mr. Tagami has asserted, and this space has confirmed, that the City of Oakland knew the Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal was to transfer minerals, including coal and iron ore, from rail to container for shipment overseas. (Note: the OBOT is not a coal factory, contrary to some reports.)
This August 16th 2012 Zennie62 on YouTube interview with then-Oakland Economic Development Director Fred Blackwell features the civic leader explaining that the replacement for the closed Oakland Army Base was to transport iron ore (the mineral named in the video-blog) and do so in a way that Blackwell claimed was environmentally safe. Here’s the video:
And in this November 3rd, 2013 video interview at the groundbreaking of Oakland Global in West Oakland (and which was the first name for the OBOT) Mr. Blackwell teamed with Tagami’s developer partner of that time, Mark Hansen of the ProLogis Company, and delivered the same message of jobs, economic development, and environmental safety:
City of Oakland Effort Trying To Terminate Lease With Tagami Problematic
Last month, the City of Oakland’s chief lawyer Barbara Parker called for the termination of the OBOT lease, siting coal handling fears. The problem with Parker’s actions is that many observers believe it defies U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria’s May 2018 ruling that judge made in favor of allowing the OBOT to go ahead and be built. the Judge found that the City of Oakland had not presented convincing evidence to support its ban against coal handling and storage in Oakland.
The Zennie62Media source said that was because the whole effort to block Phil Tagami abd OBOTwas based purely on politics and a political climate that did not exist when the project was first formed, and not on any scientific discovery. The former Oakland Manager pointed to the efforts of well-monied individuals like tech and real estate investor and climate activist Tom Steyer, who had and have worked to influence the decisions of the Mayor of Oakland and some Oakland City Councilmembers regarding the OBOT.