Oakland,CA – In this Insight Terminal Solutions News, the Oakland Coal Ban that was initiated by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and Oakland District One Councilmember Dan Kalb was not overturned by any lobbying of black leaders. This is in response to a question posed by a reader and via email to me, Zennie Abraham of Zennie62Media. (The reader did not wish to be identified.)
The question sent via email would imply that Insight Terminal Solutions CEO John Siegel was involved in some lobbying effort that convinced black leaders to take action. Any communication that would imply such action is a complete falsehood.
Moreover, the idea that “black leaders” are specifically named is racist: it implies that only “black leaders” are somehow able to be coerced and don’t have some mind of their own. But, beyond that, and specific to the matter of Insight Terminal Solutions in Oakland, any idea expressing that only “black leaders” are somehow able to be coerced, or media reporting that, is wrong. It’s completely fake news.
A Headline With “Black Leaders” And “Lobbying” In The Subject Of The Oakland Coal Ban Is Designed To Be Racially Divisive
If a media company or group happens to use a headline with “black leaders” in this subject regarding a coal ban, then it’s fair to assume that the editorial intent itself is racist, and designed to be racially divisive.
The 2016 Oakland Coal Ban was overturned because Phillip H. Tagami (also known as Phil Tagami, the developer of the Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal (OBOT), and managing director of California Capital Investment Group, who now works with Insight Terminal Solutions, filed a lawsuit against the City of Oakland in 2018.
That lawsuit was filed because Mr. Tagami knew the City of Oakland was not telling the truth regarding its own involvement in the development of the Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal. Tagami knew the City of Oakland had violated its own development agreement with him and in the creation of the Oakland Coal Ban.
As revealed by Zennie62Media for Insight Terminal Solutions, the City of Oakland not only knew that coal was part of the mix of commodities to be handled by the Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal, it commissioned the market and capability study called the “Tioga Group Report” in 2011.
Phil Tagami remembered that, and asked for the City of Oakland to produce the “Tioga Group Report”. The City of Oakland, in the reported form of economic development officer Pat Cashman, initially said the report did not exist. But, the City of Oakland did produce the “Tioga Group Report”, only after Tagami asked the court to get it via subpoena.
San Francisco Federal District Court Judge Vince Chhabria Overturned The Oakland Coal Ban
Eventually, the Oakland Coal Ban was overturned, and for the reasons stated by San Francisco Federal District Court Judge Vince Chhabria:
As a general matter, development agreements are contracts between local governments and developers that freeze existing zoning and land use regulations into place. These agreements are intended to provide developers with a measure of certainty that new and unexpected government regulations will not stymie their projects, particularly when the projects require years of investment, government approvals, and construction. Consistent with this general approach, the agreement between the City and OBOT includes a provision that prevents the City from imposing new regulations on the terminal project after the date on which the City signed and adopted the agreement. Development Agreement § 3.4.1 (Ex. 584.0022-0023); see Save Tara v. City of W. Hollywood, 45 Cal. 4th 116, 138 (2008); Santa Margarita Area Residents Together v. San Luis Obispo Cty., 84 Cal. App. 4th 221, 226-27 (2000). But there are a few exceptions, one of which is section 3.4.2 of the agreement. Section 3.4.2 allows the City to apply a new regulation to the project if the City has “substantial 8 Case 3:16-cv-07014-VC Document 249 Filed 05/15/18 Page 9 of 37 evidence” that failure to apply the regulation would create a “substantial danger” to the health or safety of current or future users, occupants, or neighbors of the project. Specifically, section 3.4.2 of the development agreement states, in relevant part: Notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement to the contrary, City shall have the right to apply City Regulations adopted by City after the Adoption Date, if such application (a) is otherwise permissible pursuant to Laws (other than the Development Agreement Legislation), and (b) 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. Development Agreement § 3.4.2 (Ex. 584.0023). There is a common understanding in the law of the meaning of the words “substantial evidence,” and there is no indication that Oakland and OBOT intended a different meaning. “Substantial evidence” is “such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion,” so long as it is “reasonable in nature, credible, and of solid value.” City of South San Francisco v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Board, 20 Cal. App. 5th 881, 896 (2018) (quoting Braewood Convalescent Hospital v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Board, 34 Cal. 3D 159, 164 (1983)).
And Judge Vince Chhabria Blasted The So-Called OBOT / Global Warming Connection In The Same Opinion
The hostility toward coal operations in Oakland appears to stem largely from concern about global warming. To be sure, shipping coal for use in other countries will make some contribution to the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere, and climate change is detrimental to public health and safety. But the City’s argument that global warming allows it to invoke section 3.4.2 of the development agreement barely merits a response. It is facially ridiculous to suggest that this one operation resulting in the consumption of coal in other countries will, in the grand scheme of things, pose a substantial global warming-related danger to people in Oakland.
Thus, and to conclude, any reporting that the Oakland Coal Ban was rejected because of someone lobbying black leaders is wrong and to be regarded as fake news at best, and racist at worst.
The OBOT Is Designed To Be Environmentally Safe
In closing, the OBOT was designed (in part) by the City of Oakland, from the start, to be environmentally safe. The facility will be served by covered hopper cars and truck use is banned. No commodity, including coal, is stored in the open air, anywhere, or near Oakland neighborhoods.
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