Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny’s Aug. 16 ruling concluded that the California High-Speed Rail Authority would break state law if it proceeded with construction of a small first portion of the state’s bullet-train project without having full funding in place and completed environmental reviews for the project’s 300-mile Initial Operating Segment, according to Cal Watchdog.
The Obama administration promised $3.2 billion for the first phase as part of the federal stimulus package, but that is just a fraction of the money needed to complete the system, leaving many of the valley’s 6.5 million residents to suspect California taxpayers will be on the hook for the rest. The state’s independent analyst calls current funding plans “highly speculative,” according to Real Clear Politics.
It looks bad for high speed rail in California – so it is pretty ridiculous that Governor Jerry Brown “today joined the Governors of Oregon and Washington and the British Columbia Premier by teleconference to sign a regional agreement to strategically align policies to reduce greenhouse gases and promote clean energy,” according to Brown’s website.
The pact seeks to enhance cooperation through a range of activities, including:
- Accounting for the costs of carbon pollution in each jurisdiction;
- Harmonizing 2050 targets for greenhouse gas reductions and developing mid-term targets needed to support long-term reduction goals;
- Taking steps to expand the use of zero-emission vehicles, aiming for 10 percent of new public and private fleet vehicle purchases by 2016;
- Enlisting support for research on ocean acidification and taking action to combat it;
- Adopting and maintaining low-carbon fuel standards in each jurisdiction; and
- Continuing deployment of high-speed rail across the region.
Yes – Brown and the other liberal Governors are pushing for deploymenbt of high-speed rail all over the region. But Republicans in Congress have furiously fought to block any more federal funding, according to Real Clear Politics.
With ObamaCare completely failing and hundreds of thousands of Americans eithe rout of work or stuck in low-paying part time jobs it is likely that the GOP will hang on to the House in 2014 – and Obama will be a lame duck for the rest of his second term. So no more federal money will be coming to CA to blow on high speed rail.
Brown has done some good things but this fixation on high speed rail could completely wreck his legacy.