The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are the largest employers in the region--and some of the worst polluters. Last week Port Commissioners adopted a $2 billion "green growth" action plan. Do the technologies exist? Who will pay for it? Will the transformation help the hundreds of thousands already hurt by pollution? Plus, the auto engineer who drove fashionable Angelenos out of their BMW's--and into Priuses. Jim Sterngold guest hosts.
FROM THIS EPISODE
Together, the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles handle more cargo than any other harbor in the US and provide more well-paying jobs by far than Hollywood. But they're also among the worst polluters, spewing volumes of dangerous emissions and particulates, which experts say are causing hundreds of early deaths each year. When Antonio Villaraigosa became mayor, he vowed to slash the emissions using new technologies, while still allowing the ports to expand. Last week Port Commissioners adopted a $2 billion action plan for "green growth." Ships will burn cleaner fuel and shut down their engines at the wharfs. Sooty container handling equipment will be replaced with trucks and cranes that use natural gas or other fuels. Heavy diesel trucks may be replaced altogether with mag-lev container movers. Do the technologies exist for this industrial transformation? Who will pay for it? Will it really help those already hurt by the pollution? Jim Sterngold guest hosts.
Jerilyn Lopez Mendoza, Vice President of the Los Angeles Port Commission
Jesse Marquez, Coalition for a Safe Environment
Mark Pisano, former Executive Director, Southern California Association of Governments
Over the past couple years a snub-nosed Toyota--ungainly, quiet, and cheap--has replaced ultra-expensive imports as the fashionable car for the well-to-do. The man who helped engineer the shift was David Hermance, who fought to create acceptance for the fuel-efficient Prius and its distinctive hybrid motor. The Toyota engineer died last week while piloting his own small plane over the ocean.