Oakland – Contrary to the words of the City of Oakland, the fact is the Insight Terminal Solutions Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal (OBOT) was planned by the City itself to haul coal as far back as 2011. Insight Terminal Solutions hired Zennie62Media this year to get out the truth about OBOT that others don’t want you to know.
The plain truth is that the Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal is a facility who’s origins stretch all the way back to 1991 and Oakland Sharing The Vision. The plain truth is that the OBOT is not a coal terminal, but a bulk terminal. The plain truth is that the OBOT is designed to be environmentally friendly, creating jobs while prohibiting truck use and introducing the Oakland Global Rail Enterprise (OGRE) engine. (The Sierra Club has the project wrong, and is trying to get teenagers to get involved in something they know nothing about.) The plain truth is the best way to solve the climate problem is to admit its a population problem – if we reached zero emissions, we would still have a climate change problem due to population growth.
The plain truth is that as far back at 2012 on video, coal and iron ore were to be part of the total commodities hauled. Listen to then-Oakland Economic Development Director Fred Blackwell:
And this video about the project:
And the plain truth is that the City of Oakland not only knew about coal in OBOT well before 2015. One should take a look at the 2018 court report on how the City tried to keep this information from Insight Terminal Solutions and Phil Tagami, the project’s key developer.
In an email dated March 22, 2012, Mr. Pat Cashman notified CCIG that the City of Oakland had contracted with the Tioga Group to, “vet the OBOT from a market/functional point of view 1.” Tioga’s scope of work was to, “provide a very broad, but not deep analysis, for the purpose of isolating factors that are a threat to the success of OBOT and OGRE and which may require additional analysis.
Tioga’s scope is to do this without creating new data or analyses but with the corporation of the CCIG team as protected by a Non-Disclosure Agreement.”2 The Tioga report is significant because it outlined several important facts: • That coal from Utah was a very likely commodity to come through Oakland because of geography and rail yard design. • That an anchor commodity with enough volume over an extended duration was absolutely crucial to the success of the project. • Tioga estimated OBOT had a one in ten chance of success because of the competitive nature of the west Coast commodity terminals.
On April 22, 2012 Mr. Nieman emailed Mr. Cashman a, “draft of an early version” of the Tioga report. On May 9, 2012 Mr. Nieman emailed CCIG and cc’d Mr. Cashman a list of questions he needed answered by the CCIG team re OBOT/OGRE3. CCIG’s preliminary answers were conveyed to Mr. Cashman on May 18, 2012 While there is clear communication and documentation that the City of Oakland did indeed enter into contract with the Tioga Group and the Tioga Group produced a draft report and submitted said report to the City of Oakland, specifically to Mr. Cashman on April 22, 2012, Mr. Cashman repeatedly denied the existence of said contract and report between 2012 and 2016.
In an email dated June 30, 2016 to Assistant City Administrator Claudia Cappio from Mr. Cashman, Mr. Cashman says, “the City did not enter into the contract with Tioga and no analysis was ever performed.”4 Mr. Cashman claims that the contract was not entered to and therefore the analyses by the Tioga group was not performed because CCIG, “would not cooperate with Tioga, without first entering into a Confidentiality Agreement that was unacceptable to Tioga.” On April 4, 2012 Mr. Nieman of the Tioga group emailed the above referenced signed confidentiality agreement, that Mr. Cashman later claims Tioga had a problem with and therefore was never signed to CCIG’s attorneys.
Despite several requests, the City of Oakland withheld the Tioga report from CCIG from April 2012 when the City first received the draft report from the Tioga group and September 2016. The report was finally given to CCIG by Mr. Doug Cole of the City of Oakland in September 2016, only after CCIG spoke directly with Mr. Steve Nieman of the Tioga group and Mr. Nieman confirmed the reports existence.
In an email dated September 23, 2016, Mr. Nieman forwarded his 4/19/12 draft report to Mr. Cole at Mr. Tagami’s request because Mr. Nieman did not feel comfortable providing the report to CCIG himself, since the report was completed at the request and under contract with the City of Oakland.6 Mr. Cole then forwarded the Tioga report to Mr. Mark McClure of CCIG on September 27, 2016.
Due to the City’s repeated denial of the existence of the Tioga Group report and their continued inability to cooperate with CCIG’s repeated requests to provide documentation and communication regarding the report, on May 5, 2017 CCIG filed a subpoena to produce documents, information, or objects, or to permit inspection of premises in a civil action. In a deposition of Mr. Cashman on August 28, 2017, Mr. Cashman acknowledges the existence of a draft report by the Tioga Group in regards to OBOT/OGRE and that a confidentiality agreement was in fact signed by the Tioga Group8 despite his email to Ms. Cappio on June 30, 2016 stating otherwise.
Again, as those know who regularly read Oakland News Now, or watch Zennie62 on YouTube, the City of Oakland had a direct hand in planning the Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal, from the start.
Zennie Abraham is the CEO of Zennie62Media