Oakland Coal Fires Up Local Press
In October, we called attention to an article by Darwin BondGraham in the UK’s The Guardian, in which the reporter analyzed documents filed in bankruptcy court by would-be coal terminal operator Insight Terminal Solutions (ITS), Phil Tagami’s latest tenant for the Oakland Bulk and Oversize Terminal (OBOT). What BondGraham discovered: fossil fuel executives have been lobbying hard and pouring thousands of dollars into spin-doctoring to revive their effort to ship toxic Utah coal through Oakland.
The lobbying and spin-doctoring has continued in the months since then, with a series of articles in the Oakland Post and the East Bay Express, a stream of ITS-sponsored and coal-spun blog posts, and a continuing series of less-publicized meetings with city officials, faith leaders, and other Oaklanders.
The No Coal in Oakland Coordinating Committee, youth leaders of Youth vs. Apocalypse, and other coal opponents have already begun to engage in countering coal-promoters’ attempt to rewrite the history of Oakland’s broad and full-throated opposition to siting a coal terminal at the city’s West Gateway, in the shadow of the Bay Bridge, with the apparent intention of subverting Oakland’s clear and firm decision to ban storage and handling of coal in our city.
As coal promoters ignite their PR fires, and conscientious Oaklanders work to douse them, we’re posting this roundup of articles and op-eds that have been published to-date … and calling on all Oaklanders to keep a critical eye out for more.
No Coal in Oakland will continue to raise our voices — and help you raise yours — to assure that neither false promises, nor twisted histories, nor deceptive numbers, nor extravagant threats levied against our city blunt our determination to keep Oakland free of toxic, filthy, climate-emergency-exacerbating coal.
For now, here are links to help you keep up with these past weeks’ torrent of coal-related press:
- October 23: How fossil fuel execs lobbied black leaders to overturn a California City’s coal ban (Darwin BondGraham, The Guardian)
- October 31: Oakland pastor L.J. Jennings opines that resistance to a coal terminal has been imposed on West Oakland by outsiders (Rev. L.J. Jennings, Oakland Post)
- October 31: Former coal executive and ITS CEO John Siegel introduces the impossible fake math concept that starting to ship coal through Oakland is a “92% reduction.” (Oakland Post)
- November 7: No Coal in Oakland responds to the ITS “92% reduction” scam in an op-ed titled We Still Object to Coal (Margaret Rossoff & lora jo foo, Oakland Post)
- November 21: ITS CEO John Siegel responds to NCIO’s OpEd, doubling down on misinformation in the October 31 piece (John Siegel, Oakland Post)
- December 3: An Oakland High senior and activist with Youth vs Apocalypse explains how she came to see climate change as a fight for our lives, in a guest editorial titled The Time to Fight Coal in Oakland is Now (Isha Tobis Clarke, East Bay Express)
- December 3: Steven Tavares digs deeper into the trove of documents filed in the ITS bankruptcy, in a cover feature titled Oakland Coal’s Wheel of Influence (Steven Tavares, East Bay Express)
- December 10: For the second week in a row, Oakland’s coal issue is featured on the cover of the Express, this article titled Phil Tagami is Not Backing Down (Steven Tavares, East Bay Express)
Coming soon: expect to see more in the Oakland Post, the East Bay Express, here on No Coal in Oakland’s web site, and elsewhere.
Stay tuned. The fight for Oakland’s health and safety isn’t over.
Image: Pressroom of the New York Times newspaper, September 1942. Photo credit: Marjory Collins. Library of Congress, via Wikimedia Commons.