Oakland Residents Voice Support For Bulk Terminal
More than 150 Oakland residents attended a public hearing held by the Oakland City Council in support of a proposed Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal, a multi-commodity, bulk marine terminal and one component of the Oakland Global Trade and Logistics Center.
The residents came to tell council members that all commodities will be shipped safely and responsibility without impacting the environment.
The Oakland Global Trade and Logistics Center is being built at the site of the decommissioned Oakland Army Base.
Environmentalists and some labor groups have expressed opposition to the handling of coal at the terminal.
“We are generally pleased with the outcome of the hearing, but remain puzzled why the hearing was called at all,” said Jerry Bridges, CEO of Terminal Logistics Solution, the company exploring the option of building and operating the bulk terminal. “We demonstrated to the City Council that West Oaklanders and Oakland in general cares about and supports our efforts. We had over 100 union labor representatives who are working on the project show up to defend their economic futures, as well as concerned citizens and members of the clergy representing the most vulnerable citizens of West Oakland.”
The company also brought in coal, rail, and legal experts to discuss “the very real impacts any actions by the City Council will have on this project, and one of the most depressed areas of this city,” Bridges added.
“It is important to keep in mind that nothing about this project has changed,” said Phil Tagami, president and CEO of California Capital & Investment Group, the master developer of the project. “We are not building a coal terminal. We are building a multi-commodity, bulk terminal. That is what the City approved, vetted, and permitted in 2012 and 2013. Reports claiming anything to the contrary are simply not true. We look forward to clarifying this issue, yet again, with the City Council in the weeks to come, and moving this historic public-private partnership with the City of Oakland forward.”
But Tagami warned that delay affects the future of the economic viability of the development and the jobs that go along with it. “If outside groups question one commodity today, how can our investors and employees know that in the years to come another commodity won’t fall out of favor, and also be targeted and maligned?” he said. “This project is expected to create 11,970 jobs and $300 million annually in regional employment income. At least half of construction hours and hires for ongoing operations will be allocated for Oakland residents, with a hiring prioritization on West Oakland residents. We call on the City Council to honor its commitment to the citizens of Oakland and to this project.”