The cost estimate has skyrocketed and the southern-most destinations have been truncated out.
CaptFun comments in RED below
BY GEORGE SKELTON
August 18, 2016
Gov. Jerry Brown needs to decide: Which does he really want to save? Our planet Earth? Or his choo-choo?
He can’t handle both — at least not in the few days remaining before the Legislature wraps up its two-year session Aug. 31. And maybe never.
The dirty truth is that California’s governor, with the legislators’ permission, has been using his high-profile battle against global warming to generate money needed to keep alive the unpopular bullet train project.
But that scheme appears to be headed for a derailment …
… Public support for the bullet train has deteriorated.
First the project was scaled back. San Diego and Sacramento were eliminated as destinations. Now it’s merely a Los Angeles-to-San Francisco route, starting with only a short line in San Joaquin Valley farm fields. And there’s our state government at work. Yeah. Eliminate San Diego, and Orange County, and Riverside and San Bernadino Counties (i.e. 4 of the 5 most populous counties in the state). Include LA County (the most populous) but only going NORTH … away from the 10 million population to the immediate south that might be served … BUT not right now. Madera to Fresno! THAT’S the ticket!
… also the cost doubled from what voters were promised. Are the same people still running the state that ran up all the deficits in the past?
There have been years of delays. And the train won’t be all that high-speed after all. We’ve got some good news and some bad news. Good news: There are still train plans! :clapping: Bad News: the plans are becoming more expensive faster than the train will ever go … and … the … train will go … from Madera to Fresno (and vice-versa). :choocho: < present level of completion.
:okpeople: * - now boarding for Muscatel, Highway City, Herndon, Borden and Ma-der-a! *
With gubernatorial cajoling, coercing and compromise, however, there may be — it’s conceivable — enough support in the Legislature to pass a less ambitious bill on a simple majority vote.
It would extend the anti-global warming act to 2030 and set a goal of cutting greenhouse emissions by 40% below 1990 levels. The original act established a target of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. And that has practically been achieved.
The act’s extension, however, wouldn’t mention cap-and-trade or high-speed rail. Those are red flags. The Legislature would delay that debate until next year or later. So future train funding would be sidetracked. The revenue flow already has plummeted because of cap-and-trade’s uncertainty.
Publicly, Brown professes not to worry.
“We are going to extend our climate goals and cap-and-trade one way or another,” his top aide, Nancy McFadden, boldly proclaimed recently. “This year, next year or on the ballot in 2018.”
That produced Capitol snickers. A ballot measure in 2018, the year Brown will be termed-out, would inescapably become a referendum on high-speed rail. That’s not a prospect any departing governor should relish, even one as popular as Brown.
Updates from Sacramento »
“If the state had $50 billion to spend, would we want to spend it on a train from San Jose to Bakersfield?” state chamber President Allan Zaremberg asks rhetorically. “I’m all for spending money on improving transportation in Los Angeles and San Francisco, but….”
Answer: Probably not.
:hmmm: Can’t they just run tracks or monorails alongside the I-5 or existing train lines to connect all the most populous cities … with stations that would go to South Lake Tahoe, Yosemite Park, The Sequoia Forest, Stateline (near Las Vegas) and the Death Valley sites? Then the land is already purchased and the West Coast begins to be connected like the East Coast. Millions of tourists and their monies would be whisked to multiple California destinations instead of having to drive, waste time and clog the backed up metropolitan freeways. And maybe to keep expenses down, use convict labor instead of just setting them free due to overcrowding? Or is it WON’T they?
On Wednesday, Senate leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) … unveiled a legislative package aimed at spending $1.2 billion in cap-and-trade funds not reserved for the train.
The legislation would “use polluters’ dollars to clean up the air we breathe,” he said. *Polluters! Aka people NOT in the State Senate … whose biological activities turn clean water foul, clean air to carbon monoxide, and nutritious vegetables into toxic solid waste? :eek: I’m GUILTY myself! *
Proposed projects would help heavily polluted and low-income communities, plus small businesses, nonprofits, agriculture and water facilities. But there’d be no additional money for the bullet train.
If Brown lobbies legislators and focuses, he probably can extend the anti-global-warming act. If not, he’ll likely suffer a black eye nationally.
Then next year — perhaps when Democrats recapture supermajority control of the Legislature after Donald Trump sours voters on Republicans — Brown can renegotiate another way to finance his bullet train.
Something less convoluted than cap-and-trade.
Politics, after all, is the art of the possible*. That’s how it was defined by 19th century German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck.
You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.
… is how it was defined by 19th century Republican Abraham Lincoln
Read more at: brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/abrahamlin110340.html
This highlights my biggest dislike of these carbon taxes. Brown was taking 25% of their cap n trade tax and blowing it into his rail project, which won’t affect carbon emissions much if at all.
One of the greatest accomplishments of Florida Governor Rick Scott’s tenure will be his vetoing of this boondoggle when Obama first tried to entice the state with “free” money.
The left naturally screamed and threw a tantrum that Scott would throw away “free” money like that. Now we see what a monumental boondoggle it has become for California.
It should have been killed the moment it was determined it could not meet the voter approved criteria that was part of the approved initative.
It did funnel money to the right ‘crony capitalists’. Spouses and friends of California politicians- one of the senators husband’s companies was involved. I can’t remember which one.
California USED to have high speed rail.
Starting around 1935.
But then intra-state jet planes came along.
**Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) was a United States airline headquartered in San Diego, California, that operated from 1949 to 1988. It was the first large discount airline in the United States. PSA called itself “The World’s Friendliest Airline” and painted a smile on the nose of its airplanes, the PSA Grinningbirds. Opinion L.A. of the Los Angeles Times called PSA “practically the unofficial flag carrier airline of California for almost 40 years.” The airline initially operated as an intrastate air carrier wholly within California before expanding to other destinations in other states following the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978.
And every body abandoned the trains.
The California high speed rail train:
Operated from 1937 until 1974.