Cleaning up cargo ships

A new bill in Congress aims to drastically clean up cargo ships entering U.S. ports, by reducing the air pollutants and greenhouse gases that spew from the vessels carrying phones, food, furniture and virtually everything people use every day.

Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) introduced the Clean Shipping Act this week, at a time when global shipping emissions are rising, fueled by growing consumer demand and ceaseless supply-chain disruptions. The proposed legislation is meant to accelerate the investment and innovation needed to shift tens of thousands of ocean-crossing vessels from highly polluting diesel fuels to zero-carbon alternatives.…

Areas around Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Boston, NYC, Baltimore, Philadelphia and others have been demanding cleaner air and water from cargo and cruise ships.


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The Clean Shipping Act is modeled on Europe’s approach, Santos said. It also builds off similar initiatives from the city councils of Long Beach and Los Angeles, which have both passed resolutions to reach 100 percent zero-emissions shipping by 2030.

Existing statewide policies in California could likewise serve as inspiration for federal shipping regulations. In California, container, cruise and other types of ships are similarly required to use electricity or emission-control technologies once they’ve docked. Regulators are also evaluating how to reduce emissions from anchored vessels — the source of last year’s pollution spike.