Southern California environment news and trends

What Long Beach residents want Warren Buffett to know about his company's port plans

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway To Buy Burlington Northern Sante Fe

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A Burlington Northern Santa Fe train sits idle at the Port of Oakland November 3, 2009 in Oakland, California.

A couple of weeks ago, a group of Long Beach residents sent a letter and a video to Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway a few years back bought BNSF, the railway that is proposing to build a new intermodal transfer yard west of the 710. Perhaps keying off a book that celebrates Buffett's ability to see the handwriting on the wall via Main Street rather than Wall Street, the residents voiced their opposition to the Southern California International Gateway project. 


The Long Beach Business Journal describes the 163-acre, $500 million project that sits about 4 miles outside the port itself as one of a new breed of sustainable, more environmentally-friendly expansions of port operations, the kind of opportunity that could encourage BNSF and other railways "to transition to the cleanest locomotive engine technologies over the next decade." But even the business press points out that "state air quality measures for line haul locomotives, however, are mostly voluntary since California regulatory agencies don’t have jurisdiction over interstate commerce." And environmental groups, even those who think the ports are doing a good job with a sustainability plan, have knocked SCIG for failing to require zero emission trucks at its site.