Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia is serious about climate change. He’s made the region’s rising temperatures a top priority, and focused on solar energy and electrification.
So why isn’t he doing more about greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at the Port of Long Beach?
Thousands of diesel trucks service the port every day. These diesel trucks are the largest source of GHG emissions from port businesses. And along the way, they spew diesel particulate matter that contributes to a range of health problems, from asthma to lung disease to cancer. This pollution impacts the development of our children’s lungs and the life expectancy of our seniors. The Mayor’s Harbor Commissioners will soon have the opportunity to impose a fee on these dirty trucks. Right now, it looks like the Commissioners might let the Mayor down and impose a meaningless fee.
Mayor Garcia is a leader on fighting Long Beach’s rising temperatures and the impacts they have on communities with a lot asphalt but not much green space. On the subject of the environment, the Mayor has said: “Climate change is the single greatest long term threat to our planet.”
We applaud the Mayor’s past comments on the issue of climate change and hope that he speaks out about the ports’ Clean Truck Rate of only $10. Imposing a $50 fee on old diesel trucks is the fastest way to motivate a switch toward cleaner fuel vehicles. The fee needs to be high enough to motivate action and generate funds to ease the transition to near-zero and zero emission vehicles. As many as 8,000 trucks could be replaced in the next few years and that would have a significant and dramatic effect the air quality of southeast Los Angeles County.
The City of Long Beach is in many ways a leader in addressing climate change. Its Climate Action and Adaption Plan is intended to reduce GHG emissions, prepare the community for the impacts of climate change and improve the quality of life. In 2018, Long Beach launched the Green Business Certification program, which provides guidance on energy and water conservation. And the Mayor has focused on building bike lanes and public transit options that encourage residents to get out of their cars.
When it comes to addressing climate change, the Mayor has said, “If you’re not a little bit aspirational then no one will ever get there.”
We couldn’t agree more, and hope the Mayor will support a Clean Truck Rate that will actually do something to address the issue of our time.
CALL TO ACTION:
Call L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and tell him to support a $50 Clean Truck Rate
PHONE: (213) 978-0600
EMAIL: Ana.Guerrero@lacity.org, Chief of Staff, Mayor Garcetti
Call Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia and tell him to support a $50 Clean Truck Rate
PHONE: (562) 570-6801
EMAIL: Diana.Tang@longbeach.gov, Chief of Staff, Mayor Garcia