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Blair, Schwarzenegger Visit Port

August 1, 2006

British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger visited the Port of Long Beach Monday, July 31, as they announced a major environmental initiative aimed at reducing air pollution and cutting greenhouse gases in California and the United Kingdom.

Blair and Schwarzenegger toured the Port’s BP oil terminal at Pier T, one of the Port of Long Beach’s most environmentally friendly terminals, and met with top business and political leaders Monday afternoon. Later that day, Blair and Schwarzenegger signed a cooperative agreement between the UK and California to promote clean energy, research new technologies and work together to reduce harmful air emissions. 

“We are pleased that Prime Minister Blair and Governor Schwarzenegger chose to visit the Port of Long Beach as they considered these environmental solutions,” Port Executive Director Richard Steinke said. “The visit recognizes the leadership role that the Port and BP have taken in improving air quality.”

Blair’s visit to the BP terminal showcased many pollution-reduction measures being implemented at the Port of Long Beach. The Port and BP have cooperated on several voluntary projects to reduce harmful air emissions from visiting ships.

The BP terminal will be the Port’s first to use shore-side electricity, also known as “cold-ironing,” to power ships at berth. Shore-side electricity is cleaner and better for air quality than the ships’ diesel-powered auxiliary engines. Construction on the project is underway and scheduled for completion next year.

In addition, BP is one of the Port’s top participants in the “Green Flag” program, which offers incentives to vessel operators who reduce ship speeds within 20 miles of the harbor. Reduced ship speeds curbs harmful air emissions. Last month the BP terminal was the site of the first dockside raising of a “Green Flag” at the Port.

BP has installed electric shore-side booster pumps at the Pier T terminal that speed delivery of cargo and reduce emissions, and the company’s Alaska class vessels voluntarily use low-sulfur fuel when visiting the Port.

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