The cost of cleaner air at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles could cost as much as $14 billion according to a draft action plan released by the port complexes today.
The 2017 San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) calls for cleaner trucks, improved on-dock rail infrastructure, transitioning the oldest, most polluting ships out of its fleet and speeding up the deployment of cleaner harbor craft in an attempt to transition to zero-emission trucks by 2035 and zero emission terminal equipment by 2030.
Decision-makers from this mammoth economic hub, where countless trucks, ships and trains produce a toxic stew of pollutants, will map out specifics on reducing the diesel-dependent port’s reliance on carbon fuels. Nobody thinks it will be easy. Industry officials and truckers raise concerns about the price tag, while environmentalists push for more speed on the path to zero emissions.
Domingo Avalos is all for clean air and blue skies. But he’s also in favor of paying the rent.
The port trucker says he logs lots of 12-14-hour workdays in his diesel rig, but he still has trouble making ends meet. Last week’s media event — starring the mayors of Los Angeles and Long Beach proudly proclaiming their march toward emissions-free ports — sent chills through Avalos and officials of his union.
LAEDC’s Institute for Applied Economics has released the report, Goods on the Move: Trade and Logistics in Southern California. The report looks at jobs, wages, economic impact, trends, and factors affecting the future of this major regional industry cluster, which directly employs over half a million people in Southern California. The industry continues to grow, with more jobs being added. While average wages for the industry as a whole are above the LA County average, the individual occupations span a wide range of salaries. Warehousing experienced a 55% increase in employment during the past ten years, but salaries in that sector have been trending down, and increasing automation is a factor to watch.
Around 100 truck drivers and warehouse workers serving the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports plan to launch a strike starting Monday — their 15th strike in the last four years.
The workers and Teamsters union Local 848 announced the labor action Thursday. The truck drivers have been pushing for years to become employees rather than independent contractors to improve pay and workplace protections.