No Coal in Oakland led the successful campaign to ban coal in Oakland. Now developer Phil Tagami has sued in federal court seeking to overthrow the ban. NCIO is raising money to place advertisements in local newspapers with the text of our Open Letter to Phil Tagami and signatures of organizations and prominent individuals urging him to drop the lawsuit.
Please donate to help cover the costs of publishing the Open Letter, which you can read below.
Background about the campaign and current updates are available on NoCoalinOakland.info. You can also sign the Open Letter at this site.
This is the text of the Open Letter:
We call on developer Phil Tagami to dismiss his lawsuit against the people of Oakland and give up his plan to build the largest coal export facility on the West Coast right here in Oakland. It is time for Mr. Tagami to come up with a cleaner, safer, healthier, and more sustainable use for Oakland’s publicly-owned West Gateway.
We support the City Council’s decision in July 2016 to ban coal storage and handling in Oakland. In 2013, Mr. Tagami promised the public and our elected officials that coal was no part of his plan for a new marine terminal. In 2015, we learned that he was negotiating in secret to make a deal to ship millions of tons of Utah coal through the terminal each year.
Concerns for the health and safety of Oakland residents as well as the worldwide danger of climate change led to widespread opposition to coal. After careful study, the City adopted its ban. Rather than accept the will of the people, who collectively have contributed nearly $500 million in local, state, and federal funds to redevelop the former Oakland Army Base, Mr. Tagami hired one of the richest law firms in the world to sue Oakland, claiming our ban on coal violates his Constitutional rights.
By pursuing litigation that could last for years, Mr. Tagami is putting off the creation of jobs that he promised and Oakland residents desperately need now--and diverting city funds to legal defense that would be better spent to meet the needs of Oakland residents. By insisting on his right to ship coal when the world is turning away from coal, Mr. Tagami is chasing his own quick profits from building a coal terminal while taxpayers will be left holding the bag when the coal export scheme collapses.
We ask Mr. Tagami to drop his lawsuit and get to work on a plan that makes sense for one of the few remaining undeveloped parcels on our public waterfront. NO COAL IN OAKLAND!