ONN – Oakland Students In SF To Protest Were Lied To About A Coal Terminal
The students that went over to San Francisco to protest the Bank of Montreal on Friday, did so on the basis of a lie. The Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal (OBOT) is not a coal terminal. It’s a multi-commodity facility designed to accept commodities like iron ore, coal, and sulphur, via rail and transfer them to ships bound for the Pacific Rim nations of China, Korea, and Japan.
Another lie is that this facility is part of the fossil fuel industry – it’s not at all. The protestors don’t seem to know that coal is used with iron ore to make steel. Steel is used to build buildings around the World. It’s estimated that coal represents 70 to 80 percent of all worldwide urban development. Thus, a slow-down in fossil-fuel related demand for coal would not at all stop overall worldwide demand for coal.
Yet another lie is that the City of Oakland didn’t know coal was involved in OBOT. That’s not true, and the proof is in the “TIOGA Study” that was called for in 2009, and released in 2012. That study pointed to the need to partner with an organization that was experienced in the transportation of coal from key markets in America to the countries of the Pacific Rim.
At the time in 2009, many in the City of Oakland doubted that Phil Tagami could find and partner with such an organization (even the consultant’s report expressed such an idea) – but he did just that. (And something the City of Oakland should reward Phil for doing – he saw a market that Oakland didn’t think existed. He proved the City of Oakland wrong, and to its benefit – but they either can’t or refuse to see that truth.)
The point is, the City of Oakland was a willing partner with Phil Tagami – the idea the City of Oakland’s fabricating that it didn’t know about the role of coal in OBOT until 2015 is a complete falsehood. A deep-water bulk and oversized commodity terminal has been the dream of many Oakland economic development planners and Port of Oakland commissioners since 1990.
Fred Blackwell, former City of Oakland Economic Development Director, now CEO of the San Francisco Foundation, has said that what is now called The Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal was designed to be a gift to the environmental community, pointing to the fact that trucks are not in the plan for the facility, and covered hopper cars (referred to also as covered coal cars, but they carry more than coal) are in the plan. The idea is to go from rail to ship via container, and all enclosed.
Here’s the City of Oakland’s Mr. Blackwell on August 16th, 2012:
Where all of this went off the rails was when tech investor and former coal investor Tom Steyer started spending millions to craft an anti-coal message, starting in 2014. This vlogger personally believes Steyer’s intent is to rid valuable land near the water of industrial uses, thus opening those areas, like the Oakland Army Base, for residential development of market rate housing. (Steyer is noted as a major investor in a real estate firm that has evicted many black and elderly persons from West Oakland.) That can’t fix the problem that Oakland has of a giant lack of basic industry jobs that pay well.
(And here’s another allegation against Tom Steyer’s seemingly innocent interest in climate change-related issues: “In July 2016, the Energy & Environment Legal Institute, a non-profit watchdog group, released a report titled “Buying the Democrat Party Lock, Stock and Barrel,” which details how Steyer “is seeking to protect his solar energy investments by spending tens of millions of dollars on key 2016 races, buying a plank in the 2016 Democrat platform, and trying to silence debate from those who challenge his view on ‘climate change’ by using select attorneys general to prosecute ‘dissenters.’””)
With the proper application of technology, as is evident in the Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal, Oakland and the SF Bay Area can have sustainable heavy industry jobs. The objective should be to create jobs that homeless Oakland residents can get – ask yourself why those who claim to be concerned about Oakland and not OBOT don’t talk about the jobs problem and what to do about it?
Meanwhile, Oakland and San Francisco have a 35 percent under-employment rate. Simply put, we have one-third of the population working in jobs and at low wage levels that are not reflective of their experience and talent. OBOT and the project to redevelop the Oakland Army Base was formed long ago, back in the early 1990s, to respond to Federal Government plans to close the military bases – the idea was to replace the lost jobs.
The City of Oakland selected Phil Tagami to build his terminal plan idea back in 2008; again, it was known that a bulk commodity terminal with coal was the idea. It wasn’t until Tom Steyer’s political campaign was launched, that what Phil was hired to do by the City of Oakland, was considered a problem.
Rather than help Phil Tagami carry out a development contract that it signed, the City of Oakland has told mistruths, and made a lot of mistakes in the way this was handed to date.
That’s the truth.
Oakland News Now Note: this post demonstrates the full and live operation of the latest version of an experimental Zennie62Media mobile media video-blogging system network – part of a new approach to the production of media. The uploaded video is from a vlogger with the Zennie62 on YouTube Partner Channel, then uploaded to and formatted automatically at the Oakland News Now site and social media pages. The objective is smartphone-enabled, real-time, on the scene reporting of news, interviews, observations, and happenings anywhere in the World and within seconds and not hours. We are constantly working to improve the system network coding and also seek interested content and media technology partners.
Zennie Abraham is the CEO of Zennie62Media