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GREEN SALON GOES GLOBAL AT GREEN PORTS PANEL
Los Angeles, June 17, 2009 BREATHE LA GREEN SALON series took on global commerce with a return to the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach for "Greening the Ports 2: Measuring the Costs and Benefits of the Ports' Environmental Initiatives in the Slowed Economy." Moderated by KPCC Reporter Molly Peterson, series was praised as an avenue to discuss issues related to the environment by bringing residents, consumers, elected and appointed officials and other stakeholders together.
The panel discussion was prefaced by remarks by Andrew Vie from Long Beach Boys and Girls Clubs where BREATHE LA O24u Environmental Education Program has served children after school since 2006 and provides a science based learning experience while "relieving the financial burden of offering the program" which is provided to schools and after school programs free of charge by BREATHE LA.
Mario Cordero, Port of Long Beach Commissioner, spoke to the costs and benefits of environmental initiatives. Despite economic downturn reducing business at the ports, Cordero stressed that the downturn in business was not due to the cost of environmental initiatives but a more troubling factor, competing ports diverting business from local ports. "doing the right thing is important and the ports exemplify green growth." Calling environmental efforts at the port "a green revolution" Cordero pointed to effort to seek cost effective efficiencies in the maritime industry including cold ironing. "In the United States forty billion dollars worth of freight moves each day. There is a need for a national policy to ensure we can be price competitive."
Kaylynn L. Kim, Port of Los Angeles Commission President, addressed the controversial issue of the clean trucks program that eliminates dirty diesel, and creates economic impacts for small owner-operators, and the San Pedro CAAP Clean Air Action Plan. Kim enthused that the Port of Los Angeles is working to achieve green goals through technological advancement and intends to lead world ports to follow the model created at Ports of Los Angeles. Cordero pointed out that it was Port of Long Beach, "The best port" that had been the first to pursue green initiatives. "The Port of Los Angeles has taken the path of green leadership and setting in motion a new green business model. Whatever we do at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach becomes the standard."
Francisco Vara-Orta, Staff Writer, Los Angeles Business Journal covers the ports of Los Angeles and Long beach with a focus on the intersection between business and the environment. As he works his way through the community, an oft-voiced concern is that "cargo is down," but he stressed that this is due not to green initiatives at the ports but simply a result of the overall economic downturn. Vara-Orta voiced confidence in the port economies. Despite challenges with the clean trucks program, he pointed to replacement truck purchases which have brought a boom to truck sales in the area.
Rich Dines, ‘an actual longshoreman' from ILWU Local 13, joined the panel after working the night shift and spoke from a labor perspective about the short term impact of cargo diversion to competing ports in Canada and Panama Canal. "The impact of slowdown at the ports reaches beyond the docks to a variety of supportive industry and we must work together to invite discretionary cargo back. I don't believe it is the fees or the green initiatives are taking business away." Dine spoke of the need for greening the ports, "to reduce health risks and costs. Longshoremen are dying of cancer due to long term exposure to pollution. Green ports can be efficient, productive and with improved capacity and improved velocity." Dine concluded that dock workers support the ports' efforts to go green, "we are dying of those pollutants, but with the economy down, we can use this as an opportunity to export green technology."
Responder Tom Politeo of the Sierra Club was less optimistic of green opportunities in the economic downturn, saying, "If we drive business to another port, we are simply sweeping the under under the rug."
Stephen Cheung, Port Liaison - Energy & Environment, Office of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa pointed to City of Los Angeles efforts to advocate for national green ports and plans for solar panel installations at the ports.
GREENING THE PORTS: WHAT'S ALREADY WORKING
John Greenwood of Northwest San Pedro Neighborhood Council saluted the Longshoremen for being in agreement on green issues and noted that for the "green movement to work, it needs to be nationalized and internationalized.".
- Vessel Speed Reduction - a 15% speed reduction on approach to ports lowers emissions from incoming ships
- AME - Advanced Maritime Emission Control. System - "the sock on the stacks" reduces idling emissions
- Cold Ironing - ‘plugging in the ship" in dock - eliminates emissions
- Clean Trucks - electric and clean diesel trucks
- On-Dock Rails - eliminates truck congestion and emissions
- Electric Tugboats
- Solar Power
- Wind Power
- Clean Locomotives for on-dock rails
- Maybe even Biodeisel
BREATHE LA Green Salon Series is an open and public forum on clean air, the environment and healthy living sponsored by Union Bank of California.
All BREATHE LA Green Salons are free and open to the public. Coffee and a light breakfast are served. For more information, contact Edward Headington at Edward@HeadingtonMedia.com or (818) 720-7181 or BREATHE LA 323-935-8050
BREATHE LA is a non-profit, public benefit organization that promotes clean air and healthy lungs through education, research and technology, "protecting the ‘Breath of Life' since 1903." Join us to BREATHE LIFE NOW.