Saturday, October 08, 2016

Gavin Newsom and high-speed rail

Fog City Journal

From last week's story in the LA Times on the high-speed rail project:

...[Governor]Brown’s successor will likely come in with a different agenda that will affect how the[high-speed rail] project progresses—or if it will even survive. 

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is running for the office, has signaled that he has some grave concerns about the project’s execution and has raised expectations that he could possibly kill the entire project.

Legislative leaders this summer made clear that they are not willing to commit additional state money, despite a shortfall triggered by lower greenhouse gas fees that the state has raised for the construction.

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) said in a recent interview that the legislature had already taken care of the project with the existing appropriation, despite the funding problem.

“They will have to do something,” Rendon said. “The reality is that some things have to be cut when revenues aren’t what was expected.”

Rob's comment:
Newsom is concerned about more than "the project's execution." He understands that more money for the project from the federal government is unlikely. He also understands that every high-speed rail system in the world gets government subsidies to operate, which is/will be illegal for the California system. 

The legislation enabling this project forbids any public subsidy to operate the system if/when it's ever built, which is increasingly unlikely (See (J) on page 8) and (D) on page 9.

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