by Zennie Abraham
The students that went over to San Francisco to protest the Bank of Montreal on Friday, did so on the basis of a lie. The Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal (OBOT) is not a coal terminal. It’s a multi-commodity facility designed to accept commodities like iron ore, coal, and sulphur, via rail and transfer them to ships bound for the Pacific Rim nations of China, Korea, and Japan.
Another lie is that this facility is part of the fossil fuel industry – it’s not at all. The protestors don’t seem to know that coal is used with iron ore to make steel. Steel is used to build buildings around the World. It’s estimated that coal represents 70 to 80 percent of all worldwide urban development. Thus, a slow-down in fossil-fuel related demand for coal would not at all stop overall worldwide demand for coal.
Yet another lie is that the City of Oakland didn’t know coal was involved in OBOT. That’s not true, and the proof is in the “TIOGA Study” that was called for in 2009, and released in 2012. That study pointed to the need to partner with an organization that was experienced in the transportation of coal from key markets in America to the countries of the Pacific Rim…
Where all of this went off the rails was when tech investor and former coal investor Tom Steyer started spending millions to craft an anti-coal message, starting in 2014. This vlogger personally believes Steyer’s intent is to rid valuable land near the water of industrial uses, thus opening those areas, like the Oakland Army Base, for residential development of market rate housing. (Steyer is noted as a major investor in a real estate firm that has evicted many black and elderly persons from West Oakland.) That can’t fix the problem that Oakland has of a giant lack of basic industry jobs that pay well.
(And here’s another allegation against Tom Steyer’s seemingly innocent interest in climate change-related issues: “In July 2016, the Energy & Environment Legal Institute, a non-profit watchdog group, released a report titled “Buying the Democrat Party Lock, Stock and Barrel,” which details how Steyer “is seeking to protect his solar energy investments by spending tens of millions of dollars on key 2016 races, buying a plank in the 2016 Democrat platform, and trying to silence debate from those who challenge his view on ‘climate change’ by using select attorneys general to prosecute ‘dissenters.’””)