No Coal in Oakland is targeting the investment bankers who are seeking to raise funds to build a coal terminal in Oakland and profit from their role as broker. We do not expect the U.S. District Court’s upcoming decision in OBOT v. City of Oakland to be the end of the legal battle over the coal terminal – a decision in favor of the City of Oakland is most likely to be appealed to higher courts and not be settled for many years. But whatever happens in the courts, there will be no coal terminal if there is no financing to build one!
As we go after the funding for coal, we rely on the community to fund our work.
Jeff Holt, a former Goldman Sachs executive who now works for the Bank of Montreal, is responsible for obtaining the $53 million that Utah has set aside to help finance the terminal if it ships Utah coal. The developers still need an additional $200 million, which Holt has indicated he will try to raise from pension funds. The investment would be marketed as “infrastructure,” obscuring the plain truths that it is a financially risky coal project and, if realized, will contribute to environmental damage none of us can afford.
It is outrageous that the pensions of working people would be hustled to fund a coal terminal, and ultimately looted if the risky coal investment proves unprofitable.
The Bank of Montreal is signatory to the Equator Principles of socially and environmentally responsible project finance, which require consultation with stakeholders in communities affected by investments. As no such consultation occurred, No Coal in Oakland, along with other environmental organizations, recently sent a letter to the CEO of the Bank of Montreal, asking it to drop its efforts to finance the coal project.
We will be following up on this letter and are considering various tactics to challenge the bank. This may involve expenses for travel as well as the usual campaign costs.
Your donations can help us go forward to block the money, and keep coal out of Oakland.
For more information about the campaign—and updates on the lawsuit—see NoCoalinOakland.org. Thank you for your support!