Two of the nation’s busiest ports, Los Angeles and Long Beach, released a $14 Billion “zero-emissions’ plan Wednesday that could include a regional cap-and-trade system.
The move came on the heels of the passage of a ten-year extension to the existing statewide cap-and-trade program.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the ports’ plan would go one step beyond the state policy:
The new proposal is being billed as “the largest environmental investment ever undertaken by a port complex” — one that cannot be successful without huge investments from the state and federal governments.
It calls for stricter federal emissions standards for trucks, trains and other leading freight pollution sources, an idea seemingly at odds with the Trump administration’s moves to roll back air quality regulations and other environmental protections.
The plan lays out very ambitious goals, which set ambitious targets that mirror Gov. Jerry Brown’s cap-and-trade program.
But criticism is coming from all sides, and the obstacles are significant.
John McLaurin, president of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, told the Times that the costs could put the L.A. ports at a competitive disadvantage.
When asked how they plan to pay for the plan, port officials reportedly say they plan to pursue state and federal subsidies, tapping into the huge revenue stream from the state cap-and-trade program.
Another major obstacle is that “zero-emission” short-haul trucks necessary for the plan to succeed do not exist yet, the Times notes.
For the L.A. and Long Beach ports, which process almost half of all U.S. imports, a change of this magnitude could affect hundreds of thousands of jobs and the economy of one of the most significant regions in the country.