The U.S. government has issued a $30 million grant to electrify tractors that will be in use at a port terminal located in Long Beach, California. Unions are hopeful that this initiative will help to boost jobs in an era where jobs are being lost during the energy transition.
The grant will be used primarily for the purchase of 60 electric yard tractors which are expected to be used to move shipping containers from their stacks to waiting trains. These vehicles will require human operation, unlike several other forms of tractors used at shipping ports.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the country’s transportation sector is the largest contributor to greenhouse gases. Several ports across the U.S. coastline are looking to replace diesel equipment such as cranes, tractors, and trucks.
“We’ve been dealing with technological change for 100 years in terms of transportation labor,” department President Greg Regan said. “Over the last few years, we’ve seen a lot more of a recognition that you have to think about the workforce aspects of it.”