Zennie Abraham note: while the author of this entry does not wish to be named, I do agree with the points made below. I served as a member of the original Alameda Base Reuse Committee in 1993, and remained quite concerned that the City of Oakland has been too slow to replace the lost West Oakland Army Base jobs, and has allowed a large homeless population to form in that part of the city – arguably, all over Oakland.
The Oakland Bulk & Oversized Terminal will bring much needed basic industry jobs to Oakland. The If opponents of the OBOT project try to go around the law and Oakland approvals and stop it, the result will be fewer jobs and lower air quality – while these outsiders leave town and don’t have to suffer any of the consequences.
OBOT developers Insight Terminal Solutions and Phil Tagami of California Capital Investment Group, will lose in the form of having to pay a legal penalty of $250 million. The objective of the effective reuse of the Oakland Army Base will be lost. Oakland will destroy its reputation as a can-do, working-class city, and send a message to the world that its not open for business because a group of outside activists makes a stink and down projects, even illegally.
No one will have done a single thing to make people safe from climate change in Oakland – but we will have made millions of lives worse from lack of energy.
You might ask: If what I’m saying is true, why are some activists claiming that Oakland Bulk & Oversized Terminal is dangerous?
Because they don’t understand what is it. Because of that, some people think Oakland shouldn’t be developing, period.
The OBOT is a “multi-commodity bulk terminal”, which means it is capable of carrying many types of materials that people overseas, particularly in the developing world, want and need.
And yes, that includes coal – which, like every commodity will be handled very safely in state-of-the-art covered cars that will not lead to coal dust problems. In fact, coal is rated one of the least likely materials to cause dust problems —but because of the covered rail cars, no material will cause dust problems.
What Oakland Bulk And Oversized Terminal Opponents Are Really After
Not everyone agrees that Oakland needs new development. In particular, the activists raising concern about OBOT, seem to think that almost all new development is bad, and don’t understand how basic industry production works enough to fairly evaluate a project like the OBOT.
For example, The Sierra Club has been a responsible member of the San Francisco Bay Area Development Community. That written, it has really made many mistakes in the consideration of The Oakland Bulk And Oversized Terminal.
For example, The Sierra Club has claimed that the City of Oakland “did not disclose any intention to handle coal at the terminal.” The problem with the The Sierra Club is it was so focused on coal for coal’s sake, it never stopped to consider the fact that the City of Oakland’s Economic Development Director Fred Blackwell specifically referred to OBOT handling of iron ore, considered related to coal in the production of steel – and in this video:
The Sierra Club never stopped to understand that both coal and iron ore are used in steel production, and in high demand in China. That’s why the idea for what became the OBOT was born many years ago. But because of the political money invested in tagging coal as bad, The Sierra Club never did its homework to learn the truth, and to understand how a facility like The Oakland Bulk And Oversized Terminal could achieve effective results in moving commodities like iron ore and coal through Oakland without any environmental harm.
The Sierra Club has no right to lie about Oakland Bulk & Oversized Terminal by trying to scare you – or create fantasy around fictional disastrous negative consequences of new development in Oakland. A story that masks the fact the City of Oakland knew OBOT was to handle coal transport as far back as 2012.
Indeed, if The Sierra Club wanted to help advance job creation in Oakland at a time when the SF Bay Area tech industry is laying off employees, it could serve as a consultant to the development of, and not an opponent of, The Oakland Bulk & Oversized Terminal.
Indeed, it should.