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Pacific Environment: ‘Rescind support for LNG’, Port of Long Beach

20 Feb 2023

Environmental organisation Pacific Environment on Friday (17 February) has taken Port of Long Beach (POLB) to task after it proposed to expand permissibility for bunkering liquefied natural gas (LNG) at the port and has launched a campaign for the port to reject LNG. 

The organisation said as part of its Port Master Plan Update, POLB is currently considering land use modifications that would allow for the development of new fossil gas stations (also known as bunkering) at the port –  a decision that would harm our community and exacerbate our climate crisis by increasing fossil fuel pollution and emissions.

“The Port of Long Beach – comprising part of the largest port complex in the Western Hemisphere – proposed updates to its Port Master Plan that would expand permissibility for bunkering liquefied natural gas (LNG), a fossil fuel that is 85-95% methane. The port has also taken steps in other port planning processes to attempt to qualify LNG as a fuel that will help the port meet its goal of zero-emissions,” Pacific Environment in a statement to Manifold Times

“If LNG bunkering facilities are built, the POLB would lock-in harmful air quality pollution and climate-disrupting emissions for decades to come — and put the entire Long Beach community at risk.”

Pacific Environment’s Ports for People campaign has launched a paid media campaign to challenge the fossil fuel industry’s greenwashing of LNG, to alert the public to the dangers of LNG, and to call on the Port of Long Beach to rescind its support for LNG. 

“We launched a live petition calling on Long Beach leaders to reject LNG, and thus far received 440 signatures, including many students at Long Beach State University. Dawny’all Heydari, Climate Campaigner for Clean Ports Southern California for Pacific Environment, will be leading more than 60 canvassers over the next two weekends — on February 18 and 25 — to knock on up to 5,000 doors in Long Beach to educate and encourage citizens to get involved and to push back on LNG at the ports,” the organisation said.

“Allowing fossil gas LNG bunkering at our ports will inflict irreparable harm onto our communities, our health, and our climate,” said Dawny’all Heydari, Climate Campaigner for Clean Ports Southern California for Pacific Environment. 

“We are urging Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson, Harbor Commission President Sharon Weissman and Port Executive Director Mario Cordero to reject LNG at our ports and to focus on transitioning to a truly 100% zero-emission future for the port – before it’s too late. The city and the port have an urgent imperative to prioritise the health and long-term sustainability of our community and communities neighbouring the Port of Long Beach.”

The environmental advocates said in addition to warming our climate, LNG poses risks to public health and safety. 

In 2021, the United States and the European Union announced a Global Methane Pledge to take voluntary actions to contribute to a collective effort to reduce global methane emissions at least 30% from 2020 levels by 2030, which could eliminate over 0.2˚C warming by 2050. 

“As a U.S. city with a major port, Long Beach must take the steps necessary to support our national commitment to this pledge. Allowing LNG bunkering at the port is a step in the wrong direction and will imperil our ability to reduce methane emissions globally,” it concluded.

Manifold Times previously reported POLB Board of Harbor Commissioners unanimously approved a climate policy known as the Zero Emissions, Energy Resilient Operations (ZEERO) Policy.

As part of its ZEERO policy, the Harbor Department committed to “endeavor in its activities” to “accelerate deployment of the lowest carbon emission alternatives for ocean going vessels through incentives and adequate availability of cleaner fuel bunkering facilities”, said Pacific Environment.

While ZEERO may appear promising on paper, POLB’s current policy regarding what constitutes a “clean shipping fuel” has included an alarming turn toward a fossil fuel, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and the ZEERO policy represents implicit approval for POLB move forward with permanent LNG bunkering facilities in Long Beach, it explained.

Related: Port of Long Beach policy move towards LNG bunkering may ‘escalate’ global warming
Related: Port of Long Beach celebrates inaugural LNG bunkering op with Pasha Hawaii “MV George III”


Photo credit: Port of Long Beach
Published: 20 February, 2023

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