Today I want to look at the privatization of the Port of Baltimore and two pay-to-play that will be an environmental nightmare for the citizens of Maryland but moves forward because it earns billions of dollars and advances political careers for corporate pols. Let's look at why the Port of Baltimore has been given an 'F' in environmental stewardship ------BECAUSE, AS WE KNOW, NEO-LIBERALS AND NEO-CONS COULD CARE LESS ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT.
REMEMBER, TRANS PACIFIC TRADE PACT (TPP) IS ALL ABOUT ALLOWING GLOBAL CORPORATIONS WORKING IN THE US TO IGNORE ALL ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS IN THE PURSUIT OF PROFIT. Do you hear your environmental or justice organizations shouting this?
All states have a Port Authority that is controlled by State and Federal governments. So, when a decision to privatize these ports comes with public private partnerships----IT IS CORPORATE DEMOCRATS MAKING THIS DECISION. Republican Erhlich and Democrat O'Malley pushed to hand the Port of Baltimore to a private investment firm HighStar-----yes, the same investment firm behind Water, Waste, and Sewage privatization-----behind bringing VEOLA and transportation privatization. All of this is tied with HighStar shareholder Johns Hopkins earning billions in these privatization deals. See why O'Malley and neo-liberals are working hard to privatize all that is public? So, neo-liberals decided that instead of a few billion coming to the State Treasury from state business at the port------it should LEASE the port for a few hundred million and then give the billions of dollars earned from the port to HighStar. NEO-LIBERALS AND NEO-CONS MAKING THE PUBLIC RENTERS IN ALL WAYS!!!!
This is not only a loss for the state financially------it is an environmental disaster for the bay. Expanding the port to bring global cargo ships brings invasive species that choke native species and fill the bay with species that are generally of no value ----killing the bay. This does not even take into consideration the level of chemical and waste pollution coming from these ships. THE PUBLIC LOSES BILLIONS IN STATE AND LOCAL REVENUE AND ITS BAY IS KILLED.....THAT'S A NEO-LIBERAL FOR YOU! Meanwhile, there is no appreciable job creation as the port goes robotic and trains simply pass right through the city ------only the cost of infrastructure development for HighStar's port operations all paid for by taxpayers. We have communities fighting what will be cargo train terminals that will kill their communities shouting THERE IS NO BENEFIT TO THE COMMUNITY OF CITIZENS OF BALTIMORE-----AND THEY ARE RIGHT.
REMEMBER, SUSTAINABILITY IS ABOUT GROWING DOMESTIC AND LOCAL ECONOMIES ------FOR A HEALTHY FUTURE. THIS IS THE OPPOSITE.
Sparrows Mill Steel plant has been slated for closure for decades but recently a pay-to-play sent millions of Federal, State, and local taxes for a deal supposedly to restart this steel mill------and yet, the deal included nothing that required the mill owners to upgrade mill equipment that was a must to make the mill competitive and able to survive. It handed this mill to corporate players who then took charge of dismantling and deciding who would own this huge and valuable property on the bay. So, as would be expected, the new mill owners closed this mill two years after receiving all that tax money to open and went into bankruptcy to shed all the costs of labor contracts, pensions, and bills owned to venders and the city. What the state and Baltimore County could have done is take this property into the hands of the state and dismantle this mill in a way that protected labor contracts and vendors and handed all the profits from salvage to public coffers-----instead, all the profits from salvage went to a Chicago corporation known to be connected to Obama's campaign. THIS WAS A PAY-TO-PLAY. Besides having the state and county lose control of valuable waterfront property-----the deals never included that the costs of environmental cleanup from decades of industry and a sewage problem that makes this area an environmental nightmare. WE HAVE SOME MILLIONS GIVEN TO STUDY THE PROBLEM. This mill was constructed in a way that Baltimore's waste water drains right into this mill and openly floods the Port of Baltimore.
THE STATE COULD HAVE USED THE PROCEEDS FROM THE STATE OWNERSHIP OF THIS MILL TO CLEAN UP AND FIX WASTE WATER AND CHEMICAL CONTAMINATION----BUT DID NOT.
Now, guess who will be made to pay for all of this as part of a taxpayer subsidized waste water infrastructure upgrade and development of this former steel mill------TAXPAYERS.
MORE CORPORATE SUBSIDY AND THE EXECUTIVES BROUGHT IN TO HANDLE THIS MASS MOVEMENT OF ASSETS OUT OF BALTIMORE COUNTY/ THE PORT-----MADE MILLIONS FOR THEIR TROUBLE. The Steel workers lost pensions and health care as the mill was allowed to go into bankruptcy instead of being taken by the state for assets.
ALL OF THIS LAND NOW IN THE HANDS OF INVESTMENT FIRMS WILL NO DOUBT BE DESIGNATED 'TAX FREE'.
One more quick mention of the next environmental catastrophe for Port of Baltimore-----Harbor Point and the development of a toxic waste landfill right on the water's edge. Even as the citizens are assured that none of the toxic waste will blow in the air and into people's lives and none of it will seep into the bay-----EVERYONE KNOWS TOXIC WASTE WILL INDEED DO BOTH. This development is on land that could have simply been left natural as a public green space-----but NO-----we must maximize profits say neo-cons and neo-liberals. All of this brings hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate tax breaks and the public building SEA WALLS around these Harbor East properties built right on waters edge because everyone knows global warming will have sea level rise 12-20 inches in just 20 years. THE PUBLIC WILL PAY FOR SEA WALLS TO PROTECT DEVELOPMENT THAT SHOULD NOT EVEN BE THERE.
THIS IS WHEN YOU KNOW YOU HAVE NEO-LIBERALS AND NEO-CONS MAKING ALL THESE DECISIONS. THEY COULD CARE LESS ABOUT PUBLIC INTEREST OR JUSTICE.
THIS IS WHAT TRANS PACIFIC TRADE PACT LOOKS LIKE.
Maryland was once again ranked with an 'F' in environmental stewardship as the Port of Baltimore is filled with trash, sewage, chemicals, and invasive species.....all while O'Malley and the neo-liberals in Maryland Assembly claim to be environmental and a Blue State. Neo-liberals dismantle all oversight and accountability in government and that includes environment----so as they pass laws that make them look progressive, they then simply ignore these laws. When O'Malley runs for President he will use all kinds of Maryland media making him sound environmental.
Keep in mind that it was the Maryland Assembly and Governor O'Malley that signed off on this so the idea that the Maryland Department of Environment comes in after all the deals are made to say these things are wrong is ridiculous. Hilgo is the Chicago-based firm connected to Obama's campaign.
Sparrows Point owners warned on environmental allegationsAsbestos, sludge issues cited by state
March 13, 2014|By Alison Knezevich,
The Baltimore SunState environmental officials and the owners of the Sparrows Point peninsula are moving toward a settlement to correct alleged regulatory violations at the former steelmaking site.
Regulators say an array of problems have occurred over the past year on the 2,300-acre peninsula, including illegal open dumping of industrial sludge, improper handling of hazardous materials and the running of an unlicensed scrap tire operation.
"We are drafting a settlement in the form of a consent order which will provide terms and a schedule for corrective actions — and which will include a financial penalty," Maryland Department of the Environment spokesman Jay Apperson said in a statement. Apperson said the penalty amount has not been determined.
The steel mill at Sparrows Point, which employed tens of thousands in its heyday, closed in 2012. Officials are now eyeing the property, which has a decades-old history of environmental problems, for future economic development.
Baltimore County formed a partnership to explore ways to bring jobs to the peninsula. Last year, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said county officials want to capitalize on the expansion of the port of Baltimore, with hopes of bringing a new marine terminal to the peninsula's Coke Point area. County leaders have said environmental contamination should not deter redevelopment of the land, contending much of the peninsula can be cleaned up in the near future.
In a December letter to owners Sparrows Point LLC and Hilco Industrial and to site contractor MCM Industrial Services LLC, Maryland Secretary of the Environment Robert Summers wrote that over the past year, inspections had revealed "a pattern of significant and ongoing violations of Maryland environmental laws" by the companies.
"Most troubling, however, is that many of these violations have been brought repeatedly to your attention and have been largely unaddressed," he wrote.
Since the letter was sent, representatives of the companies have met with state officials, Apperson said.
Randall Jostes, CEO of ELT, of which Sparrows Point LLC is an affiliate, said the company is working closely with the state agency to address the allegations.
The peninsula is a huge site "that has 100 years of history of steelmaking activity," he said.
"We're in the process of bringing down the legacy to reach the vibrant, redevelopment future," he said. "The process itself uncovers a lot of historical site issues and we are working with MDE on each and every issue discovered."
A spokesman for Hilco declined to comment. A spokeswoman for MCM said officials familiar with the matter were traveling and not available to comment.
Russell Donnelly, an Edgemere resident and environmental activist, said the community has dealt for years with polluted water in the area but has seen improvements in recent years. He said he doesn't want to see that progress reversed.
"I applaud MDE for at least keeping an eye out," Donnelly said. "I'm glad to see they're on the job."
The letter from Summers says the firms could have to pay substantial penalties.
Asbestos violations — which dealt with alleged failure to comply with regulations on packaging and processing asbestos-containing waste material — were initially corrected within 10 days, but then officials found other alleged violations, Apperson said.
The site has sparked environmental concerns for decades. In 1997, a consent decree was issued as part of a settlement between then-owner Bethlehem Steel and state and federal environmental regulators. The decree ordered Bethlehem Steel and any subsequent owner to investigate the existence of contamination and determine how best to remediate it.
Thus far, the current owners have not fully investigated the extent of contamination, said Jon Mueller, vice president for litigation at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
Mueller contends the new owners have tried to buy time and spread blame around about environmental problems on the peninsula.
"I think the government agencies are rightly concerned that the new owners are kind of playing the shell game," Mueller said, adding he was pleased that the state appears to be taking action.
The foundation, as well as Blue Water Baltimore and local citizens, sued the then-owner RG Steel in 2010, seeking an investigation and complete cleanup of the site. The lawsuit was dismissed in February through an agreement by all parties after they reached a plan to investigate off-site contamination, Mueller said.
The quick succession of owners has made it difficult to hold someone accountable and has "allowed this contamination to continue for years," Mueller said.
"There've been multiple owners since then, and the full investigation of the property hasn't even occurred, let alone full corrective measures," he said. "With all these different owners, it's made it really hard to pin somebody down to get this work done so these problems have lingered for a decade."
John Long, of the Dundalk-based environmental group, Clean Bread and Cheese Creek, said it's hard for residents to know what's happening on the peninsula.
"Nobody's communicated any type of oversight that's taken place on the dismantling process," Long said. "I think everyone would like to see the site become something that's useful and beneficial to the community, that's healthy."
Below you see what was the biggest Baltimore City racketeering deal done completely out in the open. If you look at the photos of development plans you see this massive complex built right on the water's edge-----PURE VANITY DEVELOPMENT.....and besides all of the corporate tax breaks they are going to get LEED certification for this building......more tax breaks from a LEED program rife with fraud and corruption. LEED is about green construction given to this environmental boondoggle.
The racketeering charges come from the fact that Exelon----just handed BGE----was required by this merger to keep its headquarters in Baltimore so, there was no need to give Exelon $100 million tax break to 'keep this business in the city'----IT WAS ALREADY IN THE CITY. So, this deal involves fraud and public malfeasance galore. What is worse is the building on a toxic waste dump and the need to build sea walls all distorting all environmental issues in the area.
THIS WAS OBSCENE DEVELOPMENT AND IT IS DRIVEN BY BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT AND JOHNS HOPKINS------NEO-CONS WHO COULD NOT CARE LESS ABOUT ENVIRONMENT AND NEO-LIBERAL POLS.
Yet, when election time comes------labor unions and city justice organizations-----church leaders all tell there members to vote for the same neo-liberal pols doing all this damage.
AS WE CLEAN UP THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY BY GETTING RID OF NEO-LIBERALS DO THE SAME WITH YOUR LABOR AND JUSTICE LEADERS. None of this development means good jobs or help for the underserved communities and citizens. It is pure profiteering.
How do you mitigate these injustices? You take away all the tax breaks as illegal and public malfeasance and you slap this corporation with the costs of the environmental damage and cleanup.
Why Exelon chose Harbor Point over downtown – more like suburbia
Baltimore Brew Stirring up News and Views in Baltimore Maryland
Thursday, May, 29th, 2014 29
Reporters were given a bundle of new details yesterday about the planned $120 million Exelon Corp. building – including the developer’s hope it will be 22 stories high and get a crunchy-green “platinum” LEED certification – but something subtler was being delivered as well.
It was a tutorial on the development realpolitik of Baltimore from the chief emissary of the man who’s mastered the process, bakery magnate John S. Paterakis Sr.
“We are all connected. This project is downtown,” said Michael S. Beatty, president of Paterakis’ Harbor East Development Group.
As he spoke, Beatty gestured to the place where he was standing: the 24th floor of Legg Mason’s headquarters in Harbor East, adjacent to Paterakis’ Harbor Point, the site of the proposed Exelon tower that is about a mile – a very long mile – from the city’s “central business district.”
“Where’s My Office Park?”
In light of the civic fuss that arose because Exelon passed over four sites in the traditional – and ailing – downtown core, Beatty was offering a mollifying message, that Harbor Point is “growing the downtown of Baltimore” and “will help all of Baltimore.”
Calvin Butler, of Exelon, and Michael Beatty, of Harbor East Development Group, speak to reporters about Exelon’s new building. (Photo by Fern Shen).
But his presentation was also a treatise on why Beatty and Paterakis think downtown has been foundering over the last decade, while Harbor East has been booming.
“We’re going to go after those tenants that are leaving downtown Baltimore because they’re looking for this suburban dream of ‘Where’s my office park? Where’s my big floor-plated office building?’” Beatty said, as the panorama of Baltimore’s waterfront sparkled on the other side of floor-to-ceiling windows.
“The reality was, downtown Baltimore didn’t have the large floor-plated building,” he declared. No one piped up to note that there are three or four vacant sites in the “old” downtown where such a building could be constructed.
Branding Safety in the City
A feeling of safety, Beatty said, was another suburban feature they have marketed as part of their “brand.”
“Tenants were looking out to the suburbs and saying it was safer out in the suburbs, and the reality was there was an impression downtown Baltimore wasn’t a safe environment,” Beatty said, as a representative for their latest trophy, the energy giant Exelon, stood by smiling.
Nodding in agreement, Calvin G. Butler Jr., senior vice president for corporate affairs for Exelon, nevertheless insisted that the company’s site selection did represent its commitment to downtown Baltimore.
Artist’s rendering of how the Exelon building at Harbor Point might look. (Credit: Harbor East Development)
But the two downtown finalists – the Baltimore City Community College site on Lombard St. and the former McCormick spice plant site on Light St. – didn’t cut it with the company.
“We wanted to create a presence and make a statement,” Butler said of the Harbor Point site. Exelon is committed to paying $125 million for a 15- to 20-year lease on the building, he said.
Moving to the new building will be the 2,000 employees from Constellation’s current buildings on Pratt Street and Market Place (on the eastern edge of downtown), as well as employees from Exelon’s energy marketing operation in Kennett Square, Pa., and its corporate headquarters in Chicago, Butler said.
Cubicle Workers and a Lacrosse Field
An artist’s rendering of the Exelon building released yesterday shows a glassy tower very similar to the Legg Mason building. Construction is planned to commence upon completion of Exelon’s $7.9 billion acquisition of Constellation, likely to take place at the end of March.
“We are looking at occupancy by the end of 2014,” Butler said.
Also on display behind Beatty and Butler were sketches of the 70,000 square-foot trading floor and schematics of the entire $250-million Harbor Point development.
Harbor Point layout with new streets and waterfront park. (Harbor East Development Group)
The mixed-use project (which already includes Thames Street Wharf and the Morgan Stanley building) is rising from a 27-acre brownfield site where the former Allied Chemical chromium plant once stood.
When fully built out, the developers said, Harbor Point will include a million square feet of office space, 150,000 square feet of retail, 600 residential units, 250 hotel rooms and 3,000 parking spaces.
Double Tax Breaks
The Exelon relocation stirred up another hot-button issue in town along with the fate of the central business district – tax breaks.
A key factor in developing Harbor Point will be the $155-million tax increment financing (TIF) subsidy approved by the City Council in December 2010. Moreover, the site is located in a state enterprise zone, entitling the developer to an 80% cut in property taxes for five years.
Beatty answered some of the criticism by suggesting the subsidy was a good use of public funds in part because some of it was going to be used for open public spaces.
What’s that back behind the Marriott? Oh yes, the Inner Harbor and central business district. (Photo by Fern Shen)
The TIF financing, according to material the company released yesterday, would cover 2/3 of a mile of new roads and one mile of new sidewalks. The TIF also would also help finance 11 acres of open space, including a park and half-mile waterfront promenade, a central plaza, and a lacrosse field associated with a new U.S. Lacrosse complex on the site.
Finally, the TIF would help pay for a new bridge that would connect Central Avenue to Harbor Point. The bridge would run past the west side of a current Living Classrooms building, said Marco E. Greenberg, Harbor East’s vice president for development, standing on an open terrace and pointing the spot out to reporters.
Embry and Others Question Tax Breaks
Harbor Point’s designation as a state enterprise zone would reduce the amount of property taxes going to the city of Baltimore to virtually nothing.
That’s because the state’s partial reimbursement to the city for the enterprise zone break would go to pay off interest on the TIF bonds, not to the city’s coffers.
The prospect of this double tax break at Harbor Point was the subject of some pointed words today at a meeting by a task force on tax breaks appointed by City Councilman Carl Stokes.
Detailed layout of the former site of an Allied chemical plant. (Developer drawing)
Robert C. Embry, a former city housing commissioner and president of the Abell Foundation, expressed surprise that Harbor Point was part of a state enterprise zone.
Wondering how “one of the most affluent areas of the city” got this designation, he speculated that it qualified as a disadvantaged area because it is located near one-time public-housing projects, long since razed, along Lombard Street.
Embry asked “whether the city can get out of the enterprise zone” or when the designation expires. (The zones are enacted for a ten-year period.) Whenever that happens, Embry recommended that the city review the zone’s boundaries and economic justification.
How the Harbor Point site looks now, from Legg Mason’s 24th-floor terrace. The site is capped over to contain hazardous wastes from the old chemical plant. (Photo by Fern Shen)
City Councilman James B. Kraft, whose 1st District encompasses Harbor Point, also expressed dismay about the tax breaks. He complained that Exelon “does not need to be subsidized by the city of Baltimore.”
Noting that the energy giant reported profits of $600 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, Kraft said the company “ought to be saying, ‘We don’t need it,’” and should voluntarily agree not to apply for the enterprise tax incentives.
Transit-Friendly or Car-Oriented?
Another question raised about the Harbor Point project is whether it will essentially be a car-oriented development, much like Harbor East.
“Definitely not,” Beatty told reporters yesterday.
He noted that many of the occupants of Harbor East’s residential units don’t commute. He cited city bus service and the Charm City Circulator, and pointed to a stop on the proposed $2.2 billion East-West Red Line light rail as possible mass transit options.
“Here’s the Red Line,” he said, “that’s probably seven years away.” (That’s a prediction that even state transportation officials aren’t comfortable making.)
As for cars, he noted that Central Ave. is due for a $24-million makeover designed to relieve congestion that already plagues the area.
Asked how many parking spaces the two developments will have, Beatty added up Harbor East’s current 4,000 spaces to Harbor Point’s proposed 3,000 and agreed that the development will feature 7,000 spaces.
That makes for a very big office park.
Keep in mind that it is the same investment firm------HighStar that has been handed the private contract for most of these East Coast ports and is behind all of the global corporate cargo ships killing the environment. In our case this is Johns Hopkins. Everyone knew these invasive species would follow this port expansion and everyone knew it would cost the public taxpayers billions of dollars fighting to eradicate these species. Note, HighStar does not pay to eradicate these invasive species-----the taxpayers do. So, first you end these public private partnerships and you tax these corporations to pay for the cleanup. Neo-liberals instead have eliminated all taxes paid by these investment firms and actually give copious amounts of corporate subsidy making profits soar.
NEO-LIBERALS AND NEO-CONS KNOW THESE DECISIONS WILL COST TAXPAYERS BILLIONS AND KNOW THE PUBLIC WILL LOSE CONTROL OF ALL PUBLIC POLICY AT THE PORTS.
Friday, May 17, 2013
More invasive species detected at US ports in the Mid Atlantic
Insect as well as plant and animal species from around the world can hitch a ride in a manner of speaking, on cargo shipments, moving from their native lands to exotic foreign destinations, and sometimes stay and establish a new home. Ports of entry like Baltimore and Norfolk are doorways to establishment of species that may impact livelihoods by altering the characteristic services of ecological systems.
The front-line of defense is the U. S. CBP, "one of the Department of Homeland Security’s largest and most complex components, with a priority mission of keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S. It also has a responsibility for securing the border and facilitating lawful international trade and travel while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws and regulations, including immigration and drug laws. Amopng other tasks," CBP performs two crucial roles in facilitating trade to and from the U.S. and around the globe: securing it from acts of terrorism and assuring that goods arriving in the U.S. are legitimate and that appropriate duties and fees are paid."
Working with USDA ARS Systematic Entomology Laboratory and USDA APHIS Plant Inspection Stations, and APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ). the organizations work to protect American jobs, businesses and the ecosystems that support them. Recent interceptions of non-native and potentially harmful insect species provide highlights of the impossible nature of their underfunded mission. USDA APHIS PPQ reported at the Maryland Invasive Species Council's May 2013 meeting the following interceptions.
At the port in Norfolk, Virginia CBP intercepted for the first time, Macroglossum stellatarum Linnaeus (1758), the hummingbird hawk-moth. The moth is found though out most of Europe, Asia and Northern Africa. While the species is unable to survive cold winters, the adults are strong enough fliers that they seasonally migrate from the Mediterranean region North to Sweden & Iceland. The Encyclopedia of Life notes that "The hummingbird hawk-moth is named for its long proboscis (straw like mouth) and its hovering behavior, which, accompanied by an audible humming noise, give it remarkable resemblance to a hummingbird as it visits flowers to feed on nectar." Humans see various shades of dull brown or grey in the forewings of the moth. On the other hand, they reveal characteristic fluorescent yellow, violet, purple and green patterns under ultraviolet light . Thus to birds and other insects the moth is most likely brightly patterned.
www.britishbugs.org.uk The Port of Norfolk also saw for the first time the arrival and discovery of Coreus marginatus Linnaeus (1758). The uninvited accidental visitor was found in a shipment of tile from Italy. This species if found throughout most of Europe where it feeds on plants in the genus Rumex. In addition inspectors also discovered at the Norfolk facility an adult moth hiding out amongst military cargo. The moth was identified as Autophila ligaminosa Eversmann (1851). This is the first time this species found in the sub-alpine region from the Balkans west to Afghanistan has been identified entering the US. Autophila ligaminosa
In the historic rivalry between Virginia and Maryland, the Port of Baltimore was not without its own early detection of non native visitors taking advantage of the enormous flow of global trade. And to make matters even worse one of the interception was yet another stink bug. Baltimore CBP found a moderate sized stinkbug in a shipment of tile that was later identified to be Sciocoris sideritidis Wollaston (1858). This is the first time this species has been identified entering the US. Just wait until an undetected mating pair of this new species to the shores of the United States sets up shop and works with the two existing invasive stink bugs already sucking their way through vegetables, fruits, and soya beans. Reducing USDA funding through political mismanagement and grand standing in Congress is a sure way to encourage this opportunity.
And last but not least, remembering that airports are ports too, a baggage interception in Baltimore was confirmed to be Tetraleurodes andropogoni Dozier (1934), a type of white fly. This is the first time this species have been intercepted entering the US. According to CPB "the insects were discovered on fresh leaves being carried by a passenger originating from Nigeria and arriving from the United Kingdom."
Below you see an article that has the State of Maryland and O'Malley selling this idea of privatization as a boon for the citizens of Maryland. More jobs, more businesses connected to the port. In Red you see what actually happens. Just as our BWI airport was privatized to great loss -----now the Port of Baltimore is seeing ever greater losses to the citizens of Maryland. Lease revenue of a few hundred million replaces the few billion the state and local government collected in revenue from the port businesses. Labor is immediately under attack for wage concessions to maximize profits.....as always. Federal and state money is dredging in soil known to be filled with toxic waste from chemical plants. Don't worry they say. The costs of Homeland Security now worried about dirty bombs coming from world ports-----the costs of invasive species eradication-----
ALL COSTS BORN BY THE TAXPAYERS. THE NET LOSSES TO MARYLAND AND FEDERAL TAXPAYERS WILL BE BILLIONS AS THE INVESTMENT FIRM HIGHSTAR POCKETS BILLIONS IN PROFIT.
THIS IS PUBLIC MALFEASANCE AND EVERYONE INVOLVES KNOWS IT!
As we see in red......the first thing that happened was a request to lower public lease amounts 'to make the port more competitive'. So starts the chipping away of the little the state makes in leasing.
'An item before the Oct. 31 state Board of Public Works would give the Port permission to lower rates for “the lease and use of marine terminals or facilities owned by the MPA.” '
As we see in red------more and more Federal money coming to open this global port.....remember, the port was earning the state and local economy billions before this all started. Look below and see rather than create jobs the investment firm is outsourcing jobs, automating much work and as expected----jobs are not created but destroyed.
'Last week, Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski announced $21 million in federal Department of Homeland Security funds to support shipbuilding and repair jobs at the U.S. Coast Guard Yard at Curtis Bay'.
116 Port of Baltimore workers to lose jobs
Wed, 05/12/2010 - 6:16am The Associated Press
Amports Inc. will lay off 116 workers at two auto terminals at the Port of Baltimore this summer.
Longshoreman Strike Shuts Down Port of Baltimore
Port of Baltimore Shutdown: Longshoremen in solidarity with nationwide labor struggle - October 17, 2013
Here is an assessment of the Port of Baltimore before all these privatization deals took hold. The port was healthy-----workers earning good wages, lots of smaller and regional businesses creating a broad economic base.....and now----one great big global corporation starting to strangle-hold the port economy.
NEO-LIBERALS AND NEO-CONS----WORKING TO STRANGLE THE LIFE OUT OF THE US ECONOMY!
Because of all this, the Maryland Port Administration says that the Port is a major source of personal and business revenue in the state, shown by these statistics:
- The Port was responsible for $3.6 billion in personal wage and salary income in 2006.
- The Port generated $1.9 billion in business revenues in 2006.
- Local purchases by businesses directly dependent on port activity amounted to $1.3 billion.
- Activities of the Port generated state, county and municipal taxes of $388 million.
- The U.S. Customs Service collected $507 million in duties in 2005.
Published: June 2007
Baltimore switch Ports America Inc, the port operating arm of AIG Global Investment Group, has entered into an agreement with Universal Maritime Services Corporation (UMS) to take over operations at the Dundalk Marine Terminal at the Port of Baltimore.
This is the standard hype given by neo-liberals as they know they are selling the citizens of Maryland to global corporations and profits.
STOP ALLOWING NEO-LIBERALS AND NEO-CONS TO PRIVATIZE ALL THAT IS PUBLIC!!
Ports America Chesapeake Successfully Closes 50-Year Lease and Concession Agreement To Operate and Upgrade The Seagirt Marine Terminal In The Port of Baltimore
BALTIMORE, Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ --
Ports America Group ("Ports America") today announced that its subsidiary Ports America Chesapeake ("PAC") has successfully closed on a 50-year lease and concession agreement to operate the Seagirt Marine Terminal ("Seagirt") in the Port of Baltimore. The concession was approved by the Maryland Board of Public Works on December 16, 2009.
The agreement provides more than $1.3 billion in value to the State of Maryland, creates 5,700 jobs, and delivers more than $15 million annually in new tax revenues. Importantly, PAC will provide 100% of the funding to implement the Maryland Port Administration's ("MPA") long-standing vision and commitment to make Baltimore one of only two eastern ports capable of handling the large "Super Post Panamax" container ships that will begin calling the East Coast upon the completion of the Panama Canal widening project in 2014.
"I share Governor Martin O'Malley's passion for the Port of Baltimore, and creating high quality jobs so critical to the Port's future and Maryland's competitiveness on the Atlantic seaboard," said Christopher Lee, Founder and Managing Partner of Highstar Capital.
"Baltimore is one of the best, most efficient ports in the country" Lee said. "I'm very proud to be a partner with the State of Maryland and look forward to our long association in making sure Baltimore maintains its great maritime heritage."
Commenting on the Baltimore Concession, Ports America Chesapeake CEO Mark Montgomery said: "We're proud and excited to work with the Maryland Port Administration, the International Longshoremen's Association, and all our ocean carrier customers, including Mediterranean Shipping Company and Evergreen, to help make this historic American port the most competitive facility on the East Coast."
Ports America is the largest independent American terminal operator and stevedore, with operations in 44 ports and 84 terminals. Ports America and its predecessor companies have served in the Port of Baltimore for over 88 years and have operated Seagirt since it was opened in 1990.
Ports America is owned by Highstar Capital, a leading independent operationally focused and value-added infrastructure investor that has directly invested over $5.2 billion of capital in infrastructure investments to date, primarily in the United States. Ports America Chesapeake is the newly formed affiliate of Ports America that will be the day-to-day operator of Seagirt.
Goldman Sachs and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP served as financial advisor and legal advisor, respectively, to Ports America Chesapeake.
About Ports America
Ports America, headquartered in Iselin, N.J., is the largest independent port terminal operator in North America, providing terminal management and a full suite of stevedoring and related services. Ports America, including its predecessor companies, has almost 90 years experience operating American seaports. Its current business includes 44 ports and 84 terminals in North America, handling containers, roll on/roll off cargo, general cargo and cruise ship passengers and luggage.
For more information please visit Ports America's website at www.portsamerica.com
About Highstar Capital
Highstar Capital is an independent, owner-operated infrastructure investment fund manager with an operationally focused, value-added investment strategy. Since it closed its first fund in 2000, Highstar has directly invested $5.2 billion for its limited partners and co-investors across its core infrastructure sectors of energy, environmental services and transportation.
For more information please visit Highstar Capital's website at www.highstarcapital.com