LA Times withdraws support for the BNSF SCIG Railyard

Photo from Dear Mr. Warren Buffet video by the Green L.A. Port Working Group

It would be an overstatement to say that the LA Times Editorial Board, which until yesterday had supported the BNSF Southern California Intermodal Gateway, admitted it had been snookered by project proponents, but not by much.

One of their points:

…the judge’s ruling, which poked holes in many of the assertions made by supporters, should give L.A. leaders pause. Before Mayor Eric Garcetti and the general manager of the port, Gene Seroka, double down on the project and file an appeal, they should seriously consider whether there is a better way to build the SCIG.

It was a bold move for the LA Times – one of the best papers in the country – to admit they were wrong.

I suggest the LA Times and other newspapers ask themselves three questions the next time they consider editorial positions on dirty diesel freight projects.

  • Is it ever right for children and others in poor, minority neighborhoods to suffer disproportionately from air pollution so hugely profitable companies like BNSF can increase their profits or others can benefit?

  Is environmental racism ever OK?

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Diesel Exhaust Health Impacts - EPA 2016

  • Given the horrible impacts of freight-related air pollution in Southern California and elsewhere in the U.S. – with an annual death toll in the thousands – shouldn’t major freight transportation projects ALWAYS use the cleanest and healthiest available technology?
  • Shouldn’t the communities most affected by freight projects like this have the strongest voice in decision-making?  Why did so many so many influential parties – the City of Los Angeles, the port authority, and yes, the LA Times, fail them?

The technology exists for today for Zero Emissions freight.  Let’s use it and save lives!

Read the editorial here:

Is the proposed Port of L.A. rail yard an environmental bait and switch?

For background:

MFN members and others win suit against dirty BNSF railyard and protect community health

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