Padilla Applauds California, U.S. Department of Transportation Partnership to Strengthen Supply Chain Infrastructure
In call with Transportation Secretary Buttigieg, Padilla reiterates push to improve infrastructure at CA ports and ensure that workers and near-port impacted communities have a seat at the table
LOS ANGELES, CA — U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) released the following statement on the announcement of an innovative partnership between the State of California and the U.S. Department of Transportation to help strengthen our supply chain with multi-billion dollar infrastructure improvements in California. Senator Padilla spoke to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg today to discuss the partnership.
“California ports play a central role in the movement of goods throughout the United States — the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach alone account for an estimated 40 percent of the container traffic that enters the country. Thanks to the leadership of Governor Newsom and the Biden-Harris Administration, this partnership will improve and strengthen our supply chain infrastructure, jumpstart electrification projects, and ensure California has the resources it needs. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Secretary Buttigieg and the administration to address both the short-term and long-term challenges at our ports and in our communities.”
Senator Padilla has consistently advocated for funding for port infrastructure. He voted to pass the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in August, which would provide approximately $17 billion for port and waterway infrastructure secured by Senator Padilla, including funding to support zero-emission technology and electrification to mitigate air quality and environmental impacts on nearby communities. Senator Padilla also voted to pass the United States Innovation and Competition Act in June, which would allocate tens of billions of dollars and bolster the federal government’s efforts to mitigate and address supply chain vulnerabilities. Additionally, Senator Padilla supports and advocated for the proposed significant investments in environmental justice and port decarbonization in the Build Back Better Act, including $3.5 billion in healthy ports funding, $600 million for the Port Infrastructure Development Program, and $3 billion for climate and environmental justice block grants for community-led projects. This funding is critical to allowing our ports to operate at expanded hours while ensuring that near-port communities will see cleaner air and an improved quality of life.
The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach handle an estimated 40 percent of the container traffic that enters the United States. Senator Padilla recently welcomed action by the administration to encourage these ports to launch 24/7 operations to help ease the current bottlenecks.
Under the recently announced partnership, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Build America Bureau will support the California State Transportation Agency in developing infrastructure projects designed to improve the capacity and resiliency of the goods movement chain. Projects that could receive support through this agreement include:
- Port-specific upgrades;
- Expanding capacity for freight rail;
- Developing inland port facilities for increased warehouse storage;
- Railyard and truck electrification;
- Highway upgrades to improve truck travel times;
- Grade-separated crossings to reduce the number of rail-street intersections and improve safety and efficiency; and
- Land ports of entry to expand trade capacity and cross-border commerce.