Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles Go for Cleaner Air

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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.