Since the Oakland Army Base adjacent to the Golden Gate Bridge was decommissioned in 1999, Oakland officials and community groups have been planning a project at the site of the former Army Base that would benefit the local economy and clean up the local environment. That vision of the project is now in jeopardy.
The redevelopment project, now called the Oakland Global Trade & Logistics Center (aka Oakland Global), is being built by private developer Phil Tagami. Last April, the Sierra Club discovered that Tagami had been in backroom talks with four Utah counties to make a deal that would dedicate at least half of the planned Oakland Global bulk marine terminal’s capacity to exporting millions of tons of Utah coal abroad. This deal would make Oakland the largest coal-exporting site on the West Coast, and would increase national coal exports by 19%!
Tagami has solicited hundreds of millions of public dollars to make Oakland Global a reality. Perversely, if the coal deal is allowed to go through, our taxpayer dollars will fund a project that would make air quality worse in West Oakland, a community that’s already overburdened by pollution.
That’s why we have spent the last six months fighting alongside labor, environmental justice, faith, and community groups to counteract the influence of private developers and coal companies at Oakland City Hall. To protect communities from West Oakland to Utah, and to put a stop to the catastrophic climate change caused by burning fossil fuels, this coal needs to stay in the ground. Oakland Global can and should be a success without transporting toxic fossil fuels.
After a summer of activism, the City Council acknowledged thousands of community petitions by hosting a public hearing on the potential health and safety impacts of local coal exports. On September 21st, hundreds of residents, activists, and experts came to City Hall and spoke out against coal exports. Thanks to community pressure, the Council then ordered staff to review public testimony, and investigate courses of potential action.
Because of the imminent threats to the health and safety of the workers and the community that coal exports pose, the Oakland City Council has the legal authority to ban coal exports from the Oakland Global terminal. They set December 8th as a deadline for themselves to take action on this issue — though action may now be delayed. We need to stand strong on December 8th and demand immediate action on this urgent issue.
For the city to finalize the coal exports ban, an ordinance will have to see at least two more readings. Thus, the Council will need to take at least two more meetings in the beginning of next year to finalize the ban.
Join us on December 8th as we return to City Hall for a teach-in and action calling for an end to this crazy coal plot. We have a better vision for Oakland: good, safe jobs, healthy communities, and public land used for the public good. Now it’s time to make our voices heard and make this vision a reality.
WHAT: Teach-in and action for a coal-free Oakland
WHEN: Tuesday, December 8th, 5:30 to 7 pm
WHERE: Oakland City Hall
If you are an Oakland resident, please take the time to call your council member now and ask them to vote to keep Oakland coal free! If you are not an Oakland resident, please call Mayor Schaaf and tell her that coal exports would be a disaster for the local economy, public health and safety, and climate.
- Dan Kalb, District 1, (510) 238-7001
- Abel Guillen, District 2, (510) 238-7002
- Lynette Gibson McElhaney, District 3, (510) 238-7003
- Annie Campbell Washington, District 4, (510) 238-7004
- Noel Gallo, District 5, (510) 238-7005
- Desley Brooks, District 6, (510) 238-7006
- Larry Reid, District 7, (510) 238-7007
- Rebecca Kaplan, At Large, (510) 238-7008
- Mayor Libby Schaaf, (510) 238-3141