Today everyone is more conscious of what environmental impact our actions have on our world and knows what goals we should keep in mind when thinking about the environment. For example, in April 2008 the California Air Resource Board (ARB) passed a resolution for the Emission Reduction Plan for Ports and Good Movement. This resolution requires that California return to 2001 emission levels or below by 2010. In Oakland, this affects all truck drivers going in and out of the Port of Oakland and West Oakland residents.
Achieving these environmental goals, however, require innovative approaches which have not been utilized before. While this resolution has numerous health and environmental benefits for the residents of West Oakland-a part of Oakland often overlooked by many-this also places financial burdens on truck drivers. For 2,000 independent truck drivers, this means they will have to buy new, cleaner big rigs or install modified “scrubbers” into their older truck models to produce fewer emissions and comply with the California ARB. Currently, 500 to 1,000 truck drivers will need grants or loans to purchase these new trucks or scrubbers.
But the new approaches-the nuts and bolts of meeting these emission goals-are out there. Recently, the Port of Oakland selected OneCalifornia Bank to be the bank to provide loans to these truck drivers. This SBA Clean Truck Loan Program come with free checking and savings accounts, online banking, and financial education provided by OneCalifornia Foundation. The OneCal Family, therefore, is positively impacting both the environment in which it operates as well as furthering its mission of providing economic opportunities and increasing financial literacy awareness of its clients.
OneCalifornia Bank is honored to be the bank backing the Port of Oakland Loan Program and to continue to play a role in improving the Oakland community.