Oakland march opposing new terminal for coal

Roughly 200 people, some in costume, showed up in Oakland's Trestle Glen neighborhood and marched to the home of a local developer to tell people what they think about the possibility of coal coming through the city.  

Young people left headstones saying rest in peace to air quality if coal is allowed in Oakland. 

"I work with kids who are a lot younger who have asthma and they're going to be more greatly impacted than I am. So I have to advocate for them as well," said Jada Delaney of Oakland.  

She is one of many who showed up at a rally, showing frustrations with Phil Tagami, a local developer. Tagami is suing the city which issued a citywide ban on transporting or shipping coal last year. City leaders said it would not allow the company Terminal Logistics Solutions to transport coal from Utah to Oakland because it could do harm to residents.  

Julia Bates, an Oakland resident, touched on the long term impact. While residents may not have health related problems now, the resulting air quality from coal could result in issues down the road.

Organizer Brooke Anderson acknowledges the disregard of the people Tagami is showing. "That's the will of the people and Phil Tagami is disrespecting the will of the people,” she said. “Disrespecting our democracy.”

Some here say the recent firestorms in the North Bay provide an example of how pollution in the air can travel. They feel that if coal is allowed to run through Oakland people's health could be in jeopardy. 

"He had to go in and get about two or three asthma treatments at the hospital simply because the air quality was so bad. I can only imagine how bad it could be with coal coming through," says Bates. 

"There's one man who's trying to bring more pollution to our air and poison the lungs of little ones and that's Phil Tagami," says Anderson.  

In 2013, Tagami promised to bring thousands of jobs.  As part of a bulk shipping terminal on a roughly 20-acre parcel at the old Oakland Army Base. However, city leaders said that coal was never mentioned. Now Tagami is trying again. 

"Phil Tagami sold the idea of this coal terminal on the idea that we'd have jobs. But we know we can't just have jobs. We need clean air and we shouldn't have to choose between the two," says Anderson.  

Tagami is slated to take his case to court in January.  We reached out to Tagami but didn't get a return response.