The Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal, the planned bulk terminal originally planned by the City of Oakland in partnership with California Capital Investment Group’s Phil Tagami, and now with Insight Terminal Solutions (headed by John Siegel) as a tenant partner, will influence the maintenance of over 10,000 coal jobs and many thousands more in other bulk commodities jobs in the United States – and then again overseas, when import transport is considered.
This finding comes from the following:
1) According to Grist.com, the Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal will, when built, serve as one of the two best direct West Coast ports of call for the transport of bulk commodities to Asia, and in this case, coal.
And really, given the geographic location of and regulatory problems faced by the traditionally-designed coal-only Millenium Bulk Terminal, the Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal will serve as the best port-of-call-of-choice for western coal producers in America who want to reach the other side of The Pacific Rim. Those coal producers are in Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming – six states.
(And in addition to that point, while Los Angeles has a bulk terminal facility also serving the Pacific Rim, it’s rail lines are so well used that bulk commodity transport through L.A. has become prohibitively expensive and time-consuming. Advantage, OBOT.)
2) Due to the fact shared in item 1, and Grist.com’s own claims that the OBOT is a so called bet by “Big Coal” (which is a misnomer because there’s no such thing as “Big Coal”given the small size of the majority of the firms impacted) it’s not out of pocket to assert that over 10,000 coal jobs in the Western United States will be impacted either directly or indirectly.
3) The “over 10,000 coal jobs” estimate comes from the last most reliable source of annual coal report information: The U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The coal employment picture for Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming was 10,386 jobs in 2018 – and that was up from 10,270 in 2017.
|States||Year 2018||Year 2017|
Overall, the raw spreadsheet data includes the most recent year, 2018 and 2017 and a total of over 50,000 jobs beyond just those in the West. Those spreadsheets, in turn, show a slight increase, but not decrease, in overall coal employment: from 53,051 in 2017 to 53,583 in 2018 – a 1 percent jump.
And with respect to The Pandemic and these employment numbers, the argument is that the Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal can help save, if not replenish, the jobs in those states.
The Difference Between The Oakland Bulk And Oversized Terminal And The Millenium Bulk Coal Terminal
The differences between the Oakland Bulk And Oversized Terminal and the Millenium Bulk Coal Terminal are dramatic and deserve reflection
1) The Oakland Bulk And Oversized Terminal is designed to be a multi-commodity bulk terminal, capable of handling sulphur, soda ash, iron ore, and coal, and even wood chips. The Millenium Bulk Coal Terminal is designed to handle coal, only, and via conventional means.
2) The Oakland Bulk And Oversized Terminal is designed to use covered coal rail hopper cars – the coal dust fears are reduced to non-existent. Contrary to the fake-news assertions of some, the fact is that coal has been regularly carried in covered rail cars for decades in America. The coal fake news lobby acts as if there’s a law that says coal can’t be carried in covered rail cars. If that was the case, then Phil Tagami would have been acting illegally when he fired Kinder Morgan for not wanting to use covered rail cars for the Oakland Bulk And Oversized Terminal in 2010.
3) The Oakland Bulk And Oversized Terminal will employ the innovative, low-emission Oakland Global Rail Enterprise (OGRE). On August 23, 2019, and on his Facebook page, Phil Tagami launched the Oakland news, writing “California Capital Investment Group is grateful to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) Community Health Protection Grant program and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program for their continued support and progress making this new less polluting, tier 4 locomotive purchase possible for the Oakland Global Rail Enterprise (OGRE) and West Oakland Pacific Rail (WOPR) Joint Venture.”
4) The Oakland Global Rail Enterprise (OGRE) engine, combined with the use of the covered cars and automated storage shelters that make up the Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal (OBOT), usher in a new era of low-emissions heavy industry equipment that will save jobs, not destroy them. Now, climate change activists and traditional industry representatives have a product they can rally around, the OGRE Locomotive, and a project called the Insight Terminal Solutions Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal.
The Oakland Bulk And Oversized Terminal’s Importance During The Pandemic
The COVID-19 Pandemic’s impact on the World’s economy cannot be underscored. The United States gross domestic product shrank by an unprecedented one-third during the second quarter of this year, 2020. But, encapsulated within that fact, are many broken economic supply lines.
Coal is still in abundant use around the world. It is vitally important to make sure that coal is shipped where its needed, particularly during the time of the Pandemic. Allowing disruption in the coal supply lines could, in the worst case, shut off electric power grids. But, in spite of that fact, the over-politicization of the energy conversation has caused some in the media to dance on what they think is coal’s grave – even though no such thing exists.
“Despite regional differences in coal usage, a pandemic is likely to break links in the coal supply chain, thus disrupting electrical generation. This has the potential to severely endanger the bulk electrical power system in most of the United States,” says the report from the university’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), publisher of CIDRAP News. That report was written in 2008 – it applies to our situation, today.
While OBOT can’t solve that domestic problem, it can help solve it for overseas operations, and keep employment numbers up in America. For example, in China, steel production hit its highest daily rate since June 2019 in April of this year, while daily coal and cement production also surpassed last year’s average. The Pandemic’s causing an increase in worldwide demand for basic energy, and reduced renewable energy demand at the same time.
China has taken care to make sure that the five new coal-fired plants opening up are designed and operated with an eye toward lower emissions rates, and even claims that one of them is the cleanest power plant in the World. Worldwide, coal-fired plants are not going away at this time – but there is a massive push to make them far more environmentally-friendly than in the past.
But OBOT Is Not A Coal Terminal, It’s A Bulk Terminal
As has been reported here, in a document called “The Tioga Report” and commissioned by the City of Oakland’s Pat Cashman, the Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal was designed and intended to be a bulk terminal. Oakland hired the Tioga Group to identify the best bulk commodity market for OBOT – the report fingered coal as that commodity. However, the The Tioga Report also pointed to iron ore, sulphur, and other bulk commodities as suitable for handling by OBOT. And given its overall design, bulk commodities like wood chips have been identified as commodities that can be candidates for OBOT, as well.