Tuesday, July 10, 2018

California Ports Seek Federal Oversight

By Karen Robes Meeks

At a recent Pacific Trade Association event, top leaders at the ports of Long Beach and Oakland said that government support is needed to continue efforts to grow the marine industry economically while being environmentally astute. “In California, we have the cleanest ports in the world,” said Port of Oakland Executive Director Chris Lytle, who helmed Long Beach’s port before coming to Oakland. “But we could use help if we’re going to do more.”

Mario Cordero, former chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission, echoed that sentiment. “We’ll be as successful as government support allows us to be,” he said.

Both spoke about individual efforts to lower emissions that stem from port operations and the investments being made to handle larger vessels and more cargo.

But federal policy could further assist these efforts, whether it’s nationwide clean air regulations to bring other ports up to par to California standards as Lytle suggested, or a national freight policy to prioritize port infrastructure as Cordero noted.