California governor derails plan for LA-SF high-speed train

Gov. Gavin Newsom pledges to scale back high-speed rail and twin tunnels projects in State of the State speech

Gov. Gavin Newsom pledges to scale back high-speed rail and twin tunnels projects in State of the State speech

"We need to get ready for the major demographic challenge headed our way", Newsom said.

Voters approved a ballot measure in 2008 calling for the linking of Northern and Southern California, a rail project initially estimated to cost $33 billion and be completed in 2020.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Tuesday the state will dramatically scale back a planned $77.3 billion high-speed rail project that has faced cost hikes, delays and management concerns, but will finish a smaller section of the line.

The project was already years behind schedule, and, before its cancellation, was not due to be complete until 2033.

Newsom announced that he is cancelling the state's plan on the project during his first State of the State address.

According to the audit, the state risked having to pay back as much as $3.5 billion in federal funds.

Newsom actually turned against the bullet train project years ago but then went quiet about it when he began his plans to run for governor.

Notorious Mexican drug cartel boss 'El Chapo' found guilty in U.S. trial
Once the jury left the room, he and his wife Emma Coronel, put their hands to their hearts and gave each other the thumbs up sign. Notorious drug lord El Chapo is set to die in jail after being convicted of running the world's largest drug smuggling operation.

The project, which has raised environmental concerns given its potential threat to fish habitat, is created to improve delivery from the state's wet north to its dry south. California's aqueducts and water-carrying pipelines, a historic feat of engineering in the semiarid state, are aging and increasingly inefficient. That spin will come with the complementary spin that California's failure in this case is specific to California, driven by esoteric local issues that certainly won't recur elsewhere in the U.S.as a thousand HSR flowers bloom.

But it didn't take long for all those claims to be shown as unlikely, especially the costs. Cost estimates range from $16 billion to $20 billion.

While that construction continues Newsom said the state will conduct environmental reviews on the entire Los Angeles to San Francisco route and push for more federal and private money to connect the valley to the state's economic powerhouses, though he didn't say how.

I can't believe the new, very progressive governor of California chose to drop the axe on Cali's great green boondoggle the same week that 2020 candidates are talking up the Green New Deal. Jerry Brown's head of the state board that overseas the project. No matter how much evidence was presented that the whole deal was a big boondoggle that would leave taxpayers holding the bag, Brown didn't waver. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) recently introduced her Green New Deal initiative and one of the key points was developing a high speed rail to where using airplanes was no longer necessary.

But the announcement is also a bit of a kick in the teeth for the proposed Green New Deal by progressive Democrats in Congress. It was a wholly unrealistic plan for any number of logistical reasons, as Joe Setyon explained last week.

And Newsom is no fiscal conservative.

The 520-mile journey would take less than three hours. As bad as they are, those aims are at least preferable to an absurdly overpriced makework project meant to line certain people's pockets at the expense of the taxpayers.

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