The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach bring more goods into the U.S. than any other ports in the country. Yet together the ports are the single largest source of air pollution in Southern California.
Harbor commissioners have adopted an ambitious plan to transition to cleaner fuels for goods movement in and around the ports in the next two decades. But achieving the vision for clean air will require answers to important questions:
- What are the prospects and potential for various zero-emission technologies – including battery electrification – to reduce pollution?
- How can finance, permitting and community engagement support the transition to cleaner fuels?
- What new policy and industry actions are needed for cost-effective deployment?
To address these questions, UCLA Law and UC Berkeley Law, with sponsorship from Bank of America, are hosting a free, daylong conference at UCLA Covel Commons on June 8, 2018. Panelists will examine the prospects and policy needs to move to a zero-emission future of goods movement in and around the ports. Speakers include the president of BYD Motors, CEO of ProTerra, CEO of Total Transportation Services, Inc. (TTSI) and CEO of the Coalition for Clean Air.
Also included will be representatives from:
- Bank of America
- California Trucking Association
- Port of Long Beach
- Southern California Edison
- Tesla Motors
- Union of Concerned Scientists
They will focus on steps that industry, government and civil society leaders must take to achieve zero-emission goods movement at the ports.
The event is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required, as space is limited. Please see the agenda and registration for more information.
Hope to see you there!
Automation has already helped wipe out many manufacturing jobs around the world, as robots now perform factory line tasks that used to be done by humans. Now the technology is starting to be deployed through self-driving vehicles in places like ports, with similar results.
KQED radio in San Francisco ran an excellent piece recently that describes the battle going on in Southern California’s ports. These critical areas of goods movement typically offer some of the highest-paying union jobs around for longshoremen. But a new project with automated, self-driving cargo vehicles and cranes has led to layoffs.
This video below, shot by one of the laid off workers at the Long Beach port, shows in stark terms both the promise of these amazing (and zero emission) technologies as well as the human cost (profanity included):
We certainly can’t turn our back on new technology that offers societal benefits, from cleaner transportation to cheaper goods. But we can’t be insensitive to the human costs from this deployment. One would like to think that the benefits will outweigh the costs, that the savings will help the economy overall to create more jobs, and that new jobs will be created to work on these automation technologies.
But we know there will be losers, and policy makers will need to devise ways to address what they’ve lost. Meanwhile, the trend will only intensify, as automation through self-driving technologies will eventually displace jobs from truck driving to airport shuttles to taxis, and everything in between.