Margaret Gordon and other EJ speakers at Oakland Voices for Trade Justice: A NAFTA Town Hall – April 20

One of the founders of the Moving Forward Network and most accomplished EJ activists in the U.S., Margaret Gordon, is going to speak on Thursday, April 20 in Oakland about the pollution caused by freight transportation in communities of color, and share lessons learned on how to improve community health.  Her presentation and talks by three other outstanding speakers makes this a “must-attend” event.  Sign up today!

Received by email:

ANNOUNCED! Youth, Public Health, Enviro Justice Speakers @
4/20 Oakland Voices for Trade Justice: A NAFTA Town Hall 

 CaptureWe’re excited to announce a powerful line-up of multi-generational speakers at our April 20 trade justice forum, including activists from the immigration rights, youth, environmental justice, and public health communities.


“Migration is Beautiful” butterfly graphic courtesy of Favianna Rodriguez.

RSVP Today! Don’t miss these dynamic presenters:

  • Margaret Gordon, a veteran African-American environmental justice organizer with the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project. She’ll speak to the pollution impacts of trade-related freight transport through low-income communities of color and share about opportunities to improve community health.

  • Joell Echevarria, an African-American youth social justice organizer with Hip Hop for Change and Rooted in Resilience. He will speak on the economic insecurity faced by young adults of color in Oakland.

  • Gerardo Omar Marín, who serves as Co-Director of Rooted in Community and Youth Program Director of The Pollination Project. Rooted in traditional Mexican healing art, agriculture, and music, Gerardo has dedicated his service to boost the power and unity in inter-cultural youth, social justice, and Mother Earth and will speak to the impacts NAFTA has had on Mexico.

  • Malinda Markowitz, Co-President of the California Nurses Association, the state’s premiere organization of registered nurses and a leading advocate of guaranteed healthcare by expanding and updating Medicare to cover all Americans. Malinda will speak about the threats to affordable medicines posed by new monopoly patents that corporations are seeking through new trade schemes.

EVENT SUMMARY: NAFTA has failed people across North America, and unless working people and communities are at the table, Trump’s renegotiation plans could make it even worse. Join the California Trade Justice Coalition for an engaging discussion of the devastating impacts NAFTA has had on workers, migrants, and the environment, hear from local leaders fighting for economic justice, and learn how we can take action to make sure NAFTA renegotiations truly benefit people and the environment.

WHERE: Citizen Engagement Lab, 1330 Broadway, 3rd Floor, Oakland

WHEN: Thursday, April 20th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm

RSVP: Click here to secure your spot!

Cosponsors: California Nurses Association, California Trade Justice Coalition, Citizens Trade Campaign, Friends of the Earth, Global Exchange, Rooted in Resilience, Sierra Club, California Labor Federation

Toward a more just, vibrant, and sustainable future for us all,

Aaron Lehmer-Chang
California Trade Justice Coalition
A Citizens Trade Campaign affiliate
Will Wiltschko
Lead Organizer
California Trade Justice Coalition
A Citizens Trade Campaign affiliate

 More About California Trade Justice News & Alerts

California Trade Justice News is a quarterly publication of the California Trade Justice Coalition (CTJC), a project of Earth Island Institute, and proud affiliate of the Citizens Trade Campaign. The CTJC is a new coalition of labor, environmental, family farm, public health, immigrant rights, human rights, pro-democracy, and socially conscious business leaders — all committed to building a strong California economy that works for all.

PUBLISHER: Aaron Lehmer-Chang, ED

CONTRIBUTORS: Will Wiltschko, Lead Organizer, Jake Soiffer, Social Media & Communications Intern

Like us on Facebook! | Follow us on Twitter! | Support our efforts today!


California Trade Justice Coalition
436 14th Street, Suite 1216
Oakland, CA  94612

The shipping industry may soon be forced to cut its air pollution emissions

International shipping is a case study in uncosted externalities – costs imposed on others by those who profit from an economic activity.  

While shipping generates huge amounts of revenue – $155 billion annually for the containerized shipping industry alone –  global shipping emits huge quantities of global-warming carbon dioxide (see chart below), and its other air pollution kills an estimated 60,000 people per year and costs the world as much as $300 billion annually in lung and heart disease alone.

World CO2 Emissions by Sector, IEA

Source: International Energy Agency

Huge increases in shipping and its air pollution emissions are projected in coming years. Container shipping to and from the US is projected to increase 300 percent between 2010 and 2040, and international shipping emissions  are expected to increase by 50 to 250 percent by 2050.  By that year shipping is projected to be responsible for almost a fifth of worldwide air pollution.

In spite of international shipping’s horrible toll on human health and global warming, and its growing threat, the shipping industry and many of the nations that support it have thus far successfully fought efforts to cut air pollution emissions.  Thanks to the recalcitrance of the U.N. International Maritime Organization, the Paris climate agreement included no caps on shipping emissions.

The problem isn’t technological.  During the economic slump after 2006, one major shipping fleet cut their CO2 emissions by 30 percent simply by running their ships more slowly.

But that may soon change. Pressure is building to force the shipping industry to set targets for capping CO2 emissions, which will affect other air pollution emissions as well.  For the latest on these developments, see the references below.

Experts Say Shipping, Aviation Emissions Must Peak Soon to Achieve Paris Goals, UN Climate Change Newsroom

Can the shipping industry cut its own emissions?, Deutsche Welle 

After Paris, A Move to Rein In Emissions by Ships and Planes, Yale University Environment 360

Transport Emissions Must Peak Soon to Hit Paris Targets, Environment News Service

Jacksonville boosters ignore environmental and economic risks to push dredging and port expansion.

If we learned one lesson from the disastrous dredging of the Miami Bay, it’s not to trust the U.S Army Corps of Engineers to protect our marine environment

See Florida port dredging projects under attack after Port of Miami dredging destroys hundreds of acres of coral reefs, and Miami port expansion kills endangered coral, as environmentalists feared for more information on the Army Corps of Engineers dismal track record.

Unfortunately, the desire to desire to gamble with people’s money (tax dollars) often overwhelms common sense.

Despite the fact that the nearby Port of Savannah (just 141 miles away) can already accommodate Post-Panamax ships that carry 6000 ocean containers, and dredging is underway to deepen the port to 47 feet so it can accommodate even larger ships, boosters in Jacksonville, Florida want to invest almost $700 million of (mostly) taxpayer funds to deepen 13 miles of the St. Johns River to the same depth.

But, that’s not the only problem with this plan – additionally, Jacksonville has inadequate rail connections to serve a port – which would cost an additional $200 million of, you guessed it, tax dollars.

Main channel depths at selected ports, USACE

The experts who warn that this is a crap shoot have been ignored.

“Jean-Paul Rodrigue, a Hofstra University professor and an expert in the field of transportation economics, said that cities, including three within 240 driving miles (Jacksonville; Savannah, Georgia; and Charleston, South Carolina) of one another, are gambling that deepening their ports will bring more cargo ships in spite of the fact that competition among them is a “zero sum game,” in which “whatever somebody gains is going to be at the expense of the other.” He added that, particularly considering the current slowdown of global economic growth, there is not likely to be enough of an increase of traffic to justify all those projects. The bigger ships are not going to create by magic more business,” he said.”

And their dreams ignore St. Johns Riverkeeper warnings of the damage the project is likely to do:

“.. the permit and the proposed project fail to protect our river from the likely damage that will occur from removing 18 million cubic yards of rock and sediment to deepen the river from 40 to 47-feet.

The dredging will result in harmful sedimentation, erosion and shoaling and cause salt water to move farther upstream. The increase in salinity will likely damage or destroy hundreds of acres of wetlands, submerged grasses, and trees in parts of the river and its tributaries, such as Julington Creek and Ortega River. Critical habitat for fisheries and pollution filters for our river will be lost in the process.”

Even more amazing, this work is being proposed to serve just one terminal operator, TraPac, a Japanese company which according to the most recent figures I could find, is operating at about 20 percent capacity.

For more information, check out the references below:


The siren song of deep water: Ports race to accommodate post-Panamax ships, Aljazeera America

Dredging Project Fails to Protect Our River, St. Johns Riverkeeper

St. Johns River Dredging Factsheet, St Johns Riverkeeper

Army Corps, environmentalists disagree on likely impact of river deepening, Florida Times Union

Port Authority faces roadblocks in quest to realize its potential, Florida Times Union (Jacksonville)

Are U.S. taxpayers wasting billions of dollars on East Coast port expansion?

Photo: U.S. Department of Transportation

(Updated on Friday, April 28 to reflect a new Wall Street Journal article and Datamyne Port Report)

American taxpayers have spent billions of public dollars to dredge harbors, raise bridges, and make other infrastructure improvements to East Coast ports in anticipation of new larger container ships bringing manufactured goods from Asia by way of the Panama Canal, bypassing the West Coast ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

As we have reported here several times, international shipping experts have long been dubious of the wisdom of some of those investments.  See Florida – Land of ‘build it and they will come” port dreams for one example.

Some of the costs have been dearer than money. In the process of reckless and poorly planned dredging, the U.S. Corps of Engineers has done irreparable damage to our environment. See Florida port dredging projects under attack after Port of Miami dredging destroys hundreds of acres of coral reef.

And ports want tens of billions more in public dollars, as evidenced by a near constant drumbeat of news articles touting the necessity of more spending. See the recent article in Dredging TodayU.S. Ports Plan Big Investments In Capital Projects.

“AAPA then contrasted that number with what it believes is the “best-case” scenario for investments by the federal government into  U.S. (East, West, and Gulf Coast) ports, including their land and water-side connections, through 2020. The answer was just $24.825 billion.”

Large investments are needed to implement zero emissions technologies to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions, and protect the health of port workers and the millions of people who live near ports, railyards, and freight routes.  But are additional investments by US taxpayers to expand the capacity of East Coast ports a prudent use of tax dollars?

Though East Coast ports have experienced volume increases in the last few years (See the Datamyne Port 2015 Port Report, released on Thursday), an article published in today’s Wall Street Journal casts doubts there will be any substantial shift going forward:

“The change in volumes “is going to be pretty minor,” said David Egan, head of industrial research in the Americas for CBRE. ‘Most of what we thought was going to happen has already happened.'”

An article in the LA Times makes a similar point about shifts in shipping volumes.

“… estimates by cargo analysts suggest that only around 5% of those products would be diverted through the canal, because the trip from Shanghai directly to the East Coast is two weeks longer than the one from Asia to Los Angeles, O’Connell said.

Check out these news articles.  What do you think?

East Coast Ports to See Muted Boost From Panama Canal Expansion-CBRE, Wall Street Journal

Competitors are eating into L.A. ports’ dominance, LA Times

Opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the positions of the Moving Forward Network or its members. All errors are the responsibility of the author.

The Trump Administration Threatens NEPA

Share Tweet Share +1 RedditThe Trump Administration is attacking basic human rights, immigrants, science, women, the environment, low income communities of color. Some attacks are more public than others. We wanted to send you this update on how NEPA can be dismantled without Congressional approval through the administrative/rule making process. NEPA requires federal agencies to […]

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Moving Forward Network Responds to Dangerous Implication of President’s SOTU Remarks

Share Tweet Share +1 RedditFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                       CONTACT:  Ira Arlook, Fenton, WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2018                […]

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Industrial Lead Poisoning in Los Angeles: Anatomy of a Public Health Failure

Share Tweet Share +1 RedditDear MFN colleagues, Here is a link to a new article about “silos” in government agencies that exacerbated exposure of children, residents and workers to lead from the Exide battery recycling facility in southern California.  Authors are Jill Johnston, who now heads our community outreach and engagement program at the University […]

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Senator Booker Announces The Environmental Justice Act of 2017

Share Tweet Share +1 RedditOn October 23rd U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) was joined by local community leaders and advocates from across New Jersey and the nation in announcing a landmark bill that represents a major step toward eliminating environmental injustice. This Bill would strengthen protections for communities of color, low-income communities and indigenous communities. […]

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