Industry Paid Residents To Support Gas Trucks At Public Meetings

"Residents around the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach were paid to show support for natural gas trucks at community hearings"

"Diesel truck pollution from the busiest port complex in the United States has fouled the air in nearby neighbourhoods in southern California for decades. So when port officials asked for feedback on cleaning up that pollution, hundreds of people weighed in.

Los Angeles and Long Beach officials hoped residents would help them decide whether to require zero-pollution electric trucks or instead promote vehicles powered by natural gas, a fossil fuel.

What officials didn’t know was that some of the locals who urged support for natural gas trucks were being paid by a firm hired by the natural gas industry.

A joint investigation by the Times and the news outlet Floodlight in partnership with the Guardian found that in 2017, at least 20 local residents were organised by Method Campaign Services to push for “near-zero-emission” trucks at the ports. Their comments at public meetings and press conferences bolstered successful industry lobbying for trucks that run on natural gas, which is less polluting than diesel but still contributes to lung-damaging emissions and climate change."

Miranda Green reports for Floodlight and Sammy Roth for the Los Angeles Times August 16, 2021.

Source: Floodlight/LATimes, 08/17/2021