KPIX: developer coal threat as bid to extort payment from City of Oakland

  • KPIX story of 2021-07-08 with chyron "Concessions or Coal?"

Behind the chyron “Concessions or Coal?” KPIX (the local CBS affiliate) broadcast a story headlined “Despite a Coal Ban in Oakland, Developer Leverages Proposed Facility Against City” on the July 8, 2021 evening news.

Margaret Rossoff and Ann Harvey of No Coal in Oakland, and Isha Tobis Clarke of Youth vs Apocalypse were interviewed for the story, as well as Greg McConnell, now acting (as the story describes) as “front man for Vikas Tandon, a financier who has taken over plans for a coal terminal next to the Port of Oakland.”

In the segment, McConnell floats Tandon’s likely bluff (i.e., the claim he has investors ready to dump $250 million into construction of a shipping terminal tailored to the dying coal industry): “Coal presents a certain level of revenue, and no coal is significantly less. The question is in terms of a settlement. How do we shrink the delta between no coal and coal, and close the gap?” said McConnell.

On the other hand, co-founder of No Coal in Oakland, Margaret Rossoff, says “I think this is extortion.” Speaking of Vikas Tandon, Ann Harvey of NCIO says: “I think he’s bluffing in order to extort money from the city.”

Watch or read the story at the KPIX site; or view story on YouTube.