Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley and Bryan
Parker at a forum in Castro Valley last month.
At several public appearances, Alameda County Board of Supervisors candidate Bryan Parker has taken a stance in opposition of the controversial proposal to ship coal through the Oakland Army Base.
The sentiment, nevertheless, did not sway the vice president of California Capital and Investment Group (CCIG), the group behind the plan for coal in Oakland from recently contributing $1,000 to Parker’s campaign for county supervisor.
Campaign finance reports show CCIG Vice President Mark McClure made the contribution last March 24.
Parker, a former Oakland mayoral candidate in 2014, is challenging Alameda County District Four Supervisor Nate Miley’s re-election this June.
McClure is a long-time business associate of Oakland developer Phil Tagami. CCIG is the principal company financing the construction of a large bulk commodity terminal included in the $500 million economic transformation of the former Oakland Army Base.
During at least two candidate forums, Parker has said he opposes shipping coal through Oakland, in addition, to casting no votes against the proposal as a Port of Oakland commissioner. Parker resigned from his post earlier this year to run for county supervisor.
At one candidate forum in Castro Valley last month, Parker again voiced disapproval, but added other, more safe petroleum byproducts could instead be shipped through the port. The response mirrored in some ways talking points used by backers of coal in Oakland, specifically, that banning coal shipments would risk the loss of valuable new jobs for the struggling community.
"I already have a record on this as a member of the [Port of Oakland] board of commissioners. I voted no," said Parker, but added, "Here's another example of just saying no doesn't get us to the endgame because what are we talking about more than what's being transported? We're talking about jobs and we're talking about living wage jobs that can only go to men and women all over this community and that they can pay for their housing, that they can use to send their kids to school, that they can use to put food on the table."
Parker added, he would not risk a chance at creating 200 high-paying new jobs, and would, instead, engage the owners of the bulk terminal to explore shipping other commodities, such as potash, iron ore and soda ash. "It's our responsibility to do more than just say no."
During the same forum, Miley was more direct in his opposition. "I think it would be inappropriate to ship coal into the Port of Oakland," he said. Furthermore, green energy options are more advisable, a reason why he supported the county's plan for Community Choice Aggregation, Miley told the audience, which would allow consumers the option to purchase energy, possibly green energy, from sources other than PG&E. As a county supervisor, said Miley, "We have no jurisdiction over that matter, but I think if we did, we would vote against it."