ONN – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra Loses To OBOT Oakland Bulk Terminal In 9th Circuit
The Office Of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra became the latest California organization to lose to Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal or OBOT in the court battle over a right-to-build the developer earned from the City of Oakland in 2013.
In this case, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra tried to reopen the case of OBOT vs. The City of Oakland, because the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s decision that the Oakland Coal Ban amounted to an illegal breach of contract against Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal.
Obviously thinking his considerable political weight would change the legal state of affairs (in other words, the City of Oakland consistently getting its tail kicked in court) Becerra tried to file what is called an “en banc hearing”. The reason was outlined in a legal argument that never saw the light of court day.
Rather, this was what was posted on August 3rd 2020: Docket Text:
Filed order (CARLOS T. BEA, KENNETH K. LEE and LAWRENCE L. PIERSOL): Judges Bea and Lee have voted to deny the appellants’ petitions for panel rehearing (Dkt. Nos. , ). Judge Piersol has voted to grant the petitions for panel rehearing. Judge Lee has voted to deny the petitions for rehearing en banc (Dkt. Nos. , ), and Judge Bea has so recommended. Judge Piersol has recommended that the petitions for rehearing en banc be granted. The full court has been advised of the suggestion for rehearing en banc, and no judge has requested a vote on whether to rehear the matter en banc. Fed. R. App. P. 35. The petition for panel rehearing and the petition for rehearing en banc are therefore DENIED.  [18-16105, 18-16141] (AF)
In other words, two of the three justices did not even bother to consider Becerra’s arguments. The case was already decided in the view of the judges – no rehearing was needed. The City of Oakland and The Sierra Club lose to OBOT, once again.
And thus, we need to remember a truth about this project.
The City of Oakland was the real co-developer for the OBOT. It found coal as a commodity to haul in a planned low-emissions bulk terminal facility next to the SF – Oakland Bay Bridge Toll Plaza. This was common knowledge among city staffers – or at least until 2014.
Tom Steyer Spends To Turn Public Opinion To Favor His Renewable Energy Investments
But, starting in earnest in 2014, Tom Steyer took his $1.6 billion fortune, mostly from investments in coal, and worked to turn public opinion against fossil fuel and toward the renewable energy companies he invested in. In other words, a giant hedge play. In doing so, Steyer managed to buy the support of scores of west cost elected officials, including in Oakland. And thus, the financial foundation of a court battle against OBOT that should have never started, was laid.
Now, the City of Oakland has spent $10 million in tax payer dollars on a loser legal battle. When will it stop? It’s running out of legal options and spending money that could go to help the homeless during the Pandemic. Eventually, it will wind up owing OBOT legal money so great, the public will collectively gasp.
Insight Terminal Solutions, Zennie62Media content client, is a big winner here. But the biggest loser is the Oakland public, especially those jobless and homeless, who need the work the OBOT will bring.
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