Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to Clean Up

The other day, Bumbeck said to us, "Man, I may as well just go back to smoking," in reference to the air quality in LA. He's up in the hills, while we're at the tip of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. We're also three blocks from the Port of Los Angeles, which, combined with the Port of Long Beach, create the busiest port facility in the US, and the fourth-largest in the world. What's more the ports handle a mind-boggling 40% of the cargo to enter the United States each year. And due to the ships' massive two-stroke diesels burning high-sulfur fuel and the aging fleet of short-haul trucks used to ferry cargo from berths to railcars, it's also a source of massive air pollution. Officials have just revealed a plan to change that.

Under the plan, each port will contribute $100,000,000 to replace the trucks. Meanwhile, cargo ships will be required to run on low-sulfur fuel within 20 miles of the harbor. The docks will altro be retrofitted, at customer expense, to allow freighters to run on electrical power while dockside, instead of keeping the stanky diesels idling. One interesting sticking point that's hung in the craw of environmental groups: apparently, it isn't clear whether the rules will also apply to cruise ships and tankers.

To finance the trucks, port officials are floating a bond measure in September, noting that the funding will have to come from other places if CARB doesn't approve all of the bond money they need.

Dear CARB. Stop picking on classic-car lovers and do something about the ports. We're willing to bet you that they pollute more in a day than every over-30 classic still on the road in California combined does.

Los Angeles, Long Beach ports unite on proposal to fight air pollution [USA Today]

Related:
Five Corporations: Big Companies Produce More CO2 Than All of UK's Cars [Internal]