Dems Press Buttigieg on Supply Chain Crisis: ‘Take Decisive Action’

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Two California Democrat Senators have sent a letter to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg asking that his agency “take decisive action to address supply chain bottlenecks in California and across the country.”

The press release about Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla’s letter links the crisis to the need to pass President Joe Biden’s “so-called” infrastructure bill that includes day care and climate change provisions “to ensure supply chains are more resilient to interruptions.”

“They also noted that the backlog not only has the potential to delay critical deliveries for businesses and consumers, but also may have played a role in the recent oil spill off the coast of Orange County as container ships are forced to anchor off the coast amid delays,” the press release about the letter said.

The letter said, in part:

As California ports…and their workers bolster their operations to help clear the shipping backlog, there remain additional transportation- and logistics-related challenges to moving these goods on our highways and railroads, including scarce freight rail and trucking capacity in certain regions, all of which is regulated by the Department of Transportation.

California plays a central role in the movement of goods throughout the United States. The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach handle 40 percent of all container traffic that enters the United States, much of which is then distributed from warehouses in California’s Inland Empire. Unprecedented consumer demand and the current unpredictability in the transportation supply chain have significantly increased container volumes at the Ports this year, leading to a backlog of cargo ships off the Southern California coast that, in addition to disrupting supply chains and causing numerous economic problems, may well have been responsible for the recent oil spill.

As California ports, including the Ports of Oakland and Hueneme, and their workers bolster their operations to help clear the shipping backlog, there remain additional transportation- and logistics-related challenges to moving these goods on our highways and railroads, including scarce freight rail and trucking capacity in certain regions, all of which is regulated by the Department of Transportation.

The letter does not ask for a direct response from Buttigieg. 

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