Statement on Executive Order B-32-15

On July 17, 2015, Governor Edmund Brown, Jr. released his Executive Order B-32-15, which calls for the development of an integrated freight action plan that establishes clear targets to improve freight efficiency, transition to zero-emission technologies, and increase the competitiveness of California’s freight system.

Monique Moyer, CAPA President and Executive Director of the Port of San Francisco, issued the following brief related statement on behalf of California’s public ports:  “The Governor’s Executive Order appropriately recognizes the competitive nature of trade in California, and the need to ensure that the state supports this important element of our economy as we transition to a low-carbon transportation system.  California Ports applaud the Governor’s leadership and we look forward to working closely with the Administration as an integrated freight action plan is developed.”

As the Governor noted, California’s complex freight transportation system is responsible for one-third of the state’s economy and jobs, with freight-dependent industries accounting for over $700 billion in revenue and over 5 million jobs in 2013.  As the Governor also noted, freight transportation generates significant local pollution and green house gas (GHG) emissions.

In partnership with the Air Resources Board, local air quality management districts, and industry partners, ports have been engaged in significant air quality improvement efforts over the last decade.  These efforts have led to significant emissions reductions and lasting transformations in our goods movement system.  Our large ports report emissions reductions on the order of 80% in particulate matter; 90% in SOx; 50% in NOx; and significant GHG reductions.

As we continue to move toward a low carbon transportation future, our efforts to develop a truly sustainable freight system must assure that environmental, economic, and competitive elements of sustainability are thoroughly considered.

International trade is a critical component of our regional, state, and national economies. More than 40% of the total containerized cargo entering the United States arrives at California ports, and almost 30% of the nation’s exports flow through ports in the Golden State. Port activities employ more than half-a-million people in California and generate an estimated $9 billion in state and local tax revenue annually.

With unprecedented competition from other states around the nation; unprecedented competition from Canada and Mexico; the expansion of the Panama Canal; and the consolidation of shipping practices, international trade is a highly competitive sector of the economy, perhaps more so now than ever.

CAPA applauds the Governor for focusing attention on freight related environmental, infrastructure, and economic development interests, and for his leadership in calling for the development of an integrated freight action plan.

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