Oakland residents deliver “coal” to developer to protest coal export plan

tagami 2FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 14, 2015

Contact:
Jess Dervin-Ackerman, jdervina@gmail.com, (510) 693-7677

Ethan Buckner, ethanbuckner@gmail.com, (612)718-3847

Oakland residents deliver “coal” to developer to protest coal export plan

Demonstration calls on local developer to reverse plan for coal exports at
former Oakland Army Base

***High-res photos from this morning’s demonstration***:
http://bit.ly/1IBa8r4

***High-res video footage from the protest***: http://bit.ly/1FaXI5m

Frank Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA—Oakland residents, elected officials, and
members of local labor, climate justice, and environmental organizations
rallied this morning to oppose developer Phil Tagami’s plan to ship coal
through the city of Oakland. Activists wearing hazmat suits dumped a large
pile of charcoal in front of the Rotunda building at Frank Ogawa Plaza,
where Tagami’s offices are located, to pressure Tagami to withdraw the
proposal. Tagami recently announced plans to transport coal from Utah
through Oakland by rail to a new bulk export facility at Oakland’s former
army base. Tagami’s plan has drawn extensive criticism from local community
and environmental groups, as well as from the City Council and Mayor Libby
Schaaf.

“From extraction to transport to burning, coal allows toxic chemicals to
enter into communities and the environment, causing climate disruption and
deadly diseases. Coal is bad for the climate, community and worker health,
and the environment, and both Oakland and California have standing policies
opposing the export of dirty energy. We call on Mayor Libby Schaaf and the
Oakland City Council to uphold the commitments they have made to keep
Oakland free of dangerous fossil fuels,” said Jess Dervin-Ackerman,
Conservation Manager for the Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter

“As a parent of two young children, I’m not going to sit back and allow our
city to become a shipping hub for something that poisons our air and
contributes to even more climate chaos for my kids to deal with. I believe
that Oakland needs to, and will, join communities in Oregon and Washington
in refusing to sell out our kids’ health so some big companies in Utah can
make a profit,” said Carolyn Norr of Families Against Fossil Fuels.

tagami 3“As a nation, we view ourselves as a world leader of democracy and human
rights, so we should be exporting clean 21st Century renewable energy
technologies to the developing countries, not dumping toxic 19th Century
fuel on them. There is more at stake than just squeezing the last few bucks
of profit out of fossil fuels. Our entire way of living is at stake if we
continue to gamble with the impacts of CO2 on global warming and climate
change. Our communities deserve better than the trade of a few jobs in
exchange for millions of tons of toxic chemicals rolling past our windows.
This is about profit, pure and simple, and very little of that money will
wind up in West Oakland pockets,” said Brian Beveridge, Co-Director of West
Oakland Environmental Indicators Project.

“We are standing at the crossroads of history. Oakland can choose the path
of exporting coal, the path of condemning our children to an unlivable
planet, or Oakland can lead California in building a resilient and just
local economy based on community-owned and controlled clean energy that
creates thousands of family-sustaining, union jobs. We shouldn’t have to
choose between good jobs or our survival, the health of our children and of
the Earth. With East Bay Community Energy, Alameda County’s Community
Choice energy program that we hope will launch in 2017, we can have both,”
said Colin Miller Co-Director of Bay Localize and Coordinator of the Clean
Energy & Jobs Oakland Campaign.

Tagami, who is president of California Capital and Investment Group (CCIG),
previously promised not to allow the export facility at the former army
base be used for exporting fossil fuels. Today’s action will be the first
event in a campaign to push Tagami to keep his promise and reverse plans
for coal exports in Oakland. Coal exports threaten public health, worker
safety, and the global climate.

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