A Complex Complex

What is easily the most widely discussed problem west of the Continental Divide is the pollution being cause by jamming too many intermodal containers into Southern California’s LA/Long Beach port complex.

[Complex, in most any dictionary, means “composed of many parts; not simple; intricate, difficult”. In psychoanalysis, by the way, it means “obsession”. That pretty much describes the makeup as well as the behaviors within that congested labyrinth.]

We’re being barraged every day with articles and opinions authored by those pretending to be concerned with the unacceptable consequences brought about by the intrusive growth of those SoCal ports, and every slant is just that … a slant.

Last week’s headlines looked like this:
• SoCal ports plan to forge ahead with truck plan
• Clean trucks won’t hinder port
• 3rd group calls for federal scrutiny of SoCal ports’ truck plan
• LA-Long Beach directors: Industry misrepresents ports’ truck plan
• Ports: ‘Clean Trucks Program’ may drive up trucking costs
• Intermodal Motor Carriers Conference expresses strong opposition to ‘Clean Truck Program’
• California’s clean truck plan would ban 95% from port: study
• SoCal ports study of truck plan reveals job losses, rising rates
• Truck rules to improve health
• NITL, PMSA Call For Truck Plan Review
• Major industry groups ask FMC to investigate S.Calif. truck plan
• SoCal truck re-regulation plan supporters to release report on plan
• Report sees benefits of SoCal ports’ truck plan
• SoCal drivers face nation’s worst traffic congestion
• NRDC slams SoCal ports over inaction on air quality measures
• Freight forwarder group joins opposition to SoCal truck plan
• Trade coalition calls for S. Calif. ports to abandon truck plan model
• Opposition grows to ports’ clean-air plan
• Litigation blues
• Lines were drawn, veiled threats made …

“Complex” is the correct way to describe that … that complex, of course, and there will be no end to the pushing and shoving until all parties step back and assess the harm that their callousness has brought to what used to be a fairly comfortable community.

An honest assessment will require that authorities admit guilt, accept responsibility for the harm they’ve caused, and resolve to put the public welfare above all else; a resolve that will put a stop to the ongoing madness and introduce corrective measures into West Coast terminal operations.