March 16th, 2009
05:00 AM ET

L.A. mayor seeks billions

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa tells CNN's Anderson Cooper how federal stimulus dollars can spur city economy.

Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Economy • Road to Rescue • Unemployment
March 13th, 2009
08:56 PM ET

The Road to Rescue – could begin with green trucks

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/13/art.mayorvilla1.jpg caption="L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa tells Anderson that electric trucks designed for container transport create more “green” jobs in his city and cut down on pollutants."]
Barclay Palmer
AC360° Senior Producer

Green trucks could help rescue the economy. That's what L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is telling us - and the Obama Administration.

Villaraigosa wants the government to give $6.8 billion in stimulus money directly to Los Angeles, where the unemployment rate has hit 12% - up from 8% just since October.

What would L.A. do with the money? For starters, it would buy some "green" trucks using alternative fuels, such as electricity and natural gas. The electric trucks are made right in Los Angeles by a company called Balqon. So buying more of them would make L.A run reduce pollution and create jobs at home.

The mayor showed us one of the trucks during an interview with Anderson. And he also showed us the Port of L.A. where some of those trucks would be used. The port handles 44% of all seaborne goods coming to the U.S., Villaraigosa told Anderson. It also generates more than 25% of carcinogens in the area. He wants to make the port greener - cleaner, more efficient, and more competitive with other ports around the world. And he says upgrading it would create a ripple effect of more money and jobs across the country.

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