The high-speed rail mess continues to move forward | Tim speaks | Tim Hunt

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About This Blog: I am originally from Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in which is over 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily business and wrote a column for more than 25 more… (More)

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California ratepayers suffered another dubious milestone this month when the council tasked with building the high-speed rail-approved environmental works for the final segment that will connect San Jose to San Francisco.
It will use the same right of way as CalTrain and high-speed rail fund money is already being spent electrifying this system. It comes from the high-speed train funding pool. For those who have followed this incredibly late fiscal odyssey, you will recall that in 2008 voters approved the $10 billion bond for the high-speed line that was supposed to link San Francisco to Los Angeles with trains that would run trip in less time. three hours. There was not supposed to be any additional public money involved or subsidies on running costs. Such a chimera.
Approved environmental reports clear another group for authority and the Legislative Assembly and former Governor Jerry Brown did their part to partially alleviate the huge funding shortfall, as did the Biden administration which returned the money that the Obama administration has allocated to this as a “ready shovel”. project” during his first term. The Trump administration clawed back the $1 billion with strong justification, but politics and President Biden’s affinity for trains overturned that decision.
Authority is now focused on completing the 119-mile Central Valley section from nowhere (Shafter near Bakersfield) to nowhere (Madera near Merced) without any connections. The authority celebrated because it has now approved environmental documents for all but 80 miles of the 500-mile system.
Of course, it was supposed to be a $33 billion system that is now estimated at $105 billion. Completion of the first segment is now scheduled for 2029 and who knows when and if the system will be completed. The measure of the ballot declared as early as 2020, so there is almost a decade of delay and this is only the first phase. No private investment has been attracted in 14 years.
Given the Governor’s edict and the State Air Board’s decision to ban the sale of gasoline and diesel vehicles in the state by 2035, you might wonder what the greenhouse gas reduction is. when someone parks an electric car to board an electric train. Environmental work was questionable, at best, on its greenhouse gas reduction estimates that ignored Newsom’s anti-gas initiatives in the name of climate change. Governor Brown convinced the Legislature to allocate 25% of funds from the auction of greenhouse gas credits to the train, giving him a stable source of funding, even if it was questionable under the terms of the measure of the 2008 election.

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