Impacts San Bernardino County Economy $$$   

​ Assemblyman Jay Obernolte speaks to David Kuhnen, General Manager

of Recycling Industries, which is unable to move recycled wastepaper

out of California due to the West Coast port shutdown. 

Assemblyman Jay Obernolte represents the 33rd Assembly District, which includes the San Bernardino County communities of Adelanto, Apple Valley, Baker, Barstow, Big Bear City, Big Bear Lake, Big River, Crestline, Fort Irwin, Hesperia, Johnson Valley, Lake Arrowhead, Lenwood, Lucerne Valley, Needles, Phelan, Running Springs, Silver Lakes, Trona, Twentynine Palms Base, Twin Peaks and Victorville.

Thursday February 13th in Sacramento Assemblyman Jay Obernolte called for Immediate Resolution to Lessen Economic Impact that may affect San Bernardino County Economy. 

Assemblyman Jay Obernolte (R-Big Bear Lake) today joined his legislative colleagues in urging both sides in the West Coast port shutdown to come together and resolve their differences in the ongoing dispute that has impacted port operations and hurt the economy.

The Pacific Maritime Association and Longshore and Warehouse Union have been locked in labor negotiations since May 2014. February 11th Wednesday, it was announced that all port operations in California will be suspended for four days as a result of the current labor dispute.

Searles Valley Minerals, a local raw materials mining and production company with operations in Trona, has expressed concern that the port shutdown will severely restrain their ability to ship product out of San Bernardino County.

“We export 550,000 tons, over half of our production, through the Port of Long Beach,” stated Arzell Hale, Director of Government Affairs and Public Relations for Searles Valley Minerals.

“Our storage is full. If they stop the exports at the port, we will end up having to curtail our operations. If this dispute continues, it can definitely affect our 700 employees.”

“I’m concerned that the shutdown of the ports will take a toll on our local economy and businesses like Searles Valley Minerals who employ many of my constituents,” stated Obernolte.

“Failing to resolve this ongoing dispute has the very real potential to adversely affect hardworking, middle class folks here in San Bernardino County.”

The West Coast’s 29 ports handle about $1 trillion worth of cargo each year. According to one estimate, a 10-day shutdown of the port would cost the nation $2.1 billion per day. It is also estimated that congestion at the ports could cost retailers $7 billion this year.  

“The ongoing West Coast port labor dispute is having a devastating impact on our economy. Farmers and ranchers in particular are having a tough time shipping perishable food to customers worldwide. It is unacceptable that California’s economy is essentially being held hostage to a labor dispute,” said Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen, of Modesto. “I am calling for action from President Obama and the federal government to intervene and secure a resolution so we can get our ports fully operating again.”

> Click here to see recent images taken at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports illustrating how the port dispute is impacting shipments in and out of California.

Assemblyman Jay Obernolte speaks to David Kuhnen, General Manager of Recycling Industries, which is unable to move recycled wastepaper out of California due to the West Coast port shutdown.