Congressman Doug LaMalfa led a letter to U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg expressing concerns over the city of Oakland’s grant application to redevelop the Howard Terminal at the Port of Oakland into a commercial site for the new Oakland Athletics stadium.
The letter points out logistical issues of taking away a portion of the Port and attempting to create a commercial site that borders a working port, and asks for answers regarding the project’s impact on port operations, safety, and shipping capacity.
Representatives Bob Gibbs, David Valadao, Connie Conway, Darrell Issa, Troy Balderson , Barry Moore, Tom McClintock, Young Kim, Ken Calvert and Pete Stauber cosigned the letter.
The Port of Oakland is the nineth busiest container port in the United States and is an essential gateway for trade throughout the Pacific Ocean. The Howard Terminal, the proposed site for the Oakland Waterfront Mobility Hub Project, was designated by the United States Department of Agriculture as a “pop-up” yard dedicated to clear bottlenecks for American agricultural exports to Asian markets.
“For nearly two years, domestic agriculture producers, including so many of our California farmers, had to watch while their products spoiled and perished in shipping containers instead of reaching markets across the Pacific,” LaMalfa said. “Port backlogs across the West Coast degraded market opportunities, lost market shares for American exporters and caused severe economic damage which will resonate for years. In the wake of this, the fdederal government needs to seriously consider what effect removing an entire port terminal at one of our nation’s busiest ports will have on our trade economy. It must also consider the specific safety risks and logistics of a stadium in this immediate area, with large crowds navigating their way through a working port filled with moving trucks and container vessels. A new stadium for the A’s would be a fine thing, but its placement is important. There are too many unknowns that need to be addressed before federal money can be green lit for this project.”