ONN – City Of Oakland Knew Oakland Bulk & Oversized Terminal Handled Coal In 2009.
The Oakland City Attorney announced that she filed a brief in the City’s appeal of the decision for Phil Tagami, the OBOT Developer, in OAKLAND BULK & OVERSIZED TERMINAL v.CITY OF OAKLAND and SIERRA CLUB; SAN FRANCISCO BAYKEEPER.
In the post that appeared as part of her newsletter, Barbara Parker, the Oakland City Attorney, wrote this:
Under the development agreement, the City retained its authority to regulate OBOT’s development to protect the health and safety of Oakland residents. The agreement expressly authorized the City to adopt new regulations and apply them to OBOT’s development, if the “City determines based on substantial evidence and after a public hearing that a failure to do so would place existing or future occupants or users of the Project, adjacent neighbors, or any portion thereof, or all of them, in a condition substantially dangerous to their health or safety. In 2015, the City learned that OBOT was seeking to develop a coal terminal on the site and conducted a study of the health and safety risks associated with handling coal at the terminal. After a public hearing, the Council exercised its authority to adopt legislation banning a coal terminal at the site based on evidence before the Council that revealed serious health and safety risks posed by OBOT’s plans.
Actually, that’s not true. First, the Developer has successfully argued that the Oakland Bulk & Oversized Terminal is not a “coal terminal” or a “coal factory”. Second, and more damning, according to a number of documents, the City of Oakland did know that the OBOT was to handle a number of commodities, including coal.
As one now former City of Oakland manager on the project told Zennie62Media, the reasons for the City’s sudden opposition to OBOT were “political,” and had nothing to do with scientific evidence. That person also said that Mr. Tagami has “solid” development rights to the land upon which OBOT would be built.
The City Attorney then wrote this:
In May 2018 the federal district court (“trial court”) entered judgment in favor of Plaintiff, OBOT, invalidating the City Council’s resolution and prohibiting the City from imposing a coal ban against OBOT. The City timely filed an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and in December 2018, we filed the City’s opening appellate brief.
In its brief, the Oakland City Attorney lawyers have sections called “OBOT’s Development Agreement”, and “OBOT’s Hidden Plans to Construct a Coal Terminal” – both areas consist of stories that documents and history and the courts have already proven false.
In the case of the development agreement and its language, there’s nothing to point to the allowance of political change itself for a change in the development agreement away from a bulk terminal. As long as the development agreement focuses on the creation of a bulk terminal, that Oakland City Attorney language is wrong.
As to the claim that OBOT has a “hidden plan to construct a coal terminal”, the very sentence itself shows a complete misunderstanding of the project: the Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal is a single entity, and not a land development that contains a terminal within it. Moreover, OBOT is not at all a coal terminal. This video shows how it is to operate:
Further, the City Attorney of Oakland claims the Oakland City Council only got wind of any development that included coal in 2015. That too is countered by evidence to the contrary all over the Internet. For example, in 2012, Fred Blackwell, who was then Oakland Economic Development Director and is now CEO of the San Francisco Foundation, told Zennie62Media that the facility was to handle iron ore, a commodity used in conjunction with coal in the making of steel. In 2013, the very development agreement that the Oakland City Attorney refers to specifically lists that coal will be one of the commodities that will be handled.
Additionally, the 2009 proposal for a market study and the 2012 market study that was done for the City of Oakland based on the proposal (called the TIOGA Study), both refer to the Worldwide market for coal. The upshot of this is the City of Oakland was a willing partner in the development of OBOT, even to the point of coming to the Oakland Global / OBOTGroundbreaking in 2013:
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