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CA Gov Newsom aborts unborn Green New Deal, cancels SF-LA high speed rail project

CA Gov Newsom aborts unborn Green New Deal, cancels SF-LA high speed rail project

How are you going to have a Green New Deal centered around high speed rail that will eliminate the need for airplanes when liberals can’t even build high speed rail between Los Angeles and San Francisco?

I’m so old, I remember when the Democrats’ Green New Deal was going to build so much high speed rail there would be no need for airplane travel.

Totally overhaul transportation by massively expanding electric vehicle manufacturing, build charging stations everywhere, build out highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary, create affordable public transit available to all, with goal to replace every combustion-engine vehicle. [emphasis added]

Anyone with half a brain would know that high speed rail projects have been complete debacles in the U.S. so far. The poster child for failure was the Los Angeles to San Francisco high speed rail projects. Starting several years ago we have chronicled the cost overruns and bureaucratic failures:

So it comes as no surprise that California finally is declaring the Bullet Train dead, Gov. Newsom ending high-speed rail project between SF, LA:

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday he’s abandoning a plan to build a high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco, a project with an estimated cost that has ballooned to $77 billion.

“Let’s be real,” Newsom said in his first State of the State address. “The current project, as planned, would cost too much and respectfully take too long. There’s been too little oversight and not enough transparency.”

The idea long championed by Newsom’s predecessor, Jerry Brown, is years behind schedule. The latest estimate for completion is 2033.

Newsom, though, said he wants to finish construction that’s already underway on a segment of the high-speed train through California’s Central Valley, arguing it will revitalize the economically depressed region. He’s also replacing Brown’s head of the state board that oversees the project and pledged more accountability for contractors that run over on costs.

There will still be some rail projects, but you won’t be able to get by high speed rail between the major cities in California. The 800-mile project is reduced to 120 miles of track already under construction between Merced and Bakersfield.

How are you going to have a Green New Deal centered around high speed rail that will eliminate the need for airplanes when liberals can’t even build high speed rail between Los Angeles and San Francisco?


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Newsom has just hit ocasio-cortez in the head with a shovel. Harris is wondering wtf, since she just endorsed ocasio-cortez’s idiotic plan!? whoops.

So, they’re going to keep throwing money into the genuinely useless part of the project.

Take the Fed money back, and fund the wall…..

“it will revitalize the economically depressed region”

Uh. No. It won’t. The first $1B didn’t revitalize the area. It’ll continue to line pockets in places far away from Merced.

Good article, bad headline.

It is amazing how quickly even the greenies sober up when there are budget problems in Sacramento. This project was a disaster from the start.

    1. Give Newsom some credit for stopping this folly.

    2. Reading between the lines, Newsom says that Brown’s people were robbing the state blind – where are the feds on massive theft of taxpayer funds> Nowhere.

      gwsjr425 in reply to JOHN B. | February 13, 2019 at 6:55 am

      Lets not pretend he’s going to give the money back to the feds. What will most likely happen to that money is liberal activist groups will get a large infusion of cash.

JusticeDelivered | February 12, 2019 at 7:54 pm

California has more important things to take care of, like expelling all the illegal leeches, cleaning up turds, cleaning out turn makers.

Wising up and cleaning out Democrats, the party which attracts societies losers, the real deplorables, like those turds attract flies 🙂

I am not aware of any publicly owned rail system of transportation that does not lose money year after year. Can some one name one?

    Stan25 in reply to dunce1239. | February 12, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    Railroads have been losing money every since the end of WW2. The reason why one may ask? Because the trucking industry has made freight hauling much more viable with cheaper rates. In other words, the railroads priced themselves out of the market. Oh by the way. that green new deal would have shut down the railroads too.

      in-suhr-ect in reply to Stan25. | February 12, 2019 at 10:02 pm

      The US freight rail system is a) the best in the world b) profitable and c) in need of expansion. The need for c becomes obvious if you’ve driven a car along any major shipping corridors.

      /// Also. Shipping small, time sensitive load by rail is frustrating and today there’s a lot of such volume. Driving while wedged between walls 45-80,000 trucks ain’t no fun.

      Milwaukee in reply to Stan25. | February 13, 2019 at 1:31 am

      “Railroads have been losing money every since the end of WW2.”

      Then why does Warren Buffet own Burlington Northern?
      When it comes to transporting large, heavy items which are not necessarily time dependent, rail is the way to go. The engine opens a hole in the air which the train glides through. The steel wheels on steel rails provides low rolling resistance. In terms of tons moved per meter per second per unit of energy, rail is very efficient. In the 1970s power interests in built up the rails so coal trains from Wyoming go to El Paso in 100 car trains. They use quarter-mile rails which are welded together. For passengers, passengers who need climate controlled environment, and want to sleep, and eat, and defecate, and whatnot, rail is not so efficient. Passenger rail has lost money, but has received huge government subsidies. Freight rail has done well.

      One of the reasons Warren and the Dems opposed the Keystone pipeline is that Warren and Burlington Northern got $30-a-barrel for shipping oil, a pipeline will do that for $10-a-barrel, and be environmentally safer.

Pssst. Elon Musk’s boring company has already completed a high-speed mile long tunnel under LA for $10 million. A fifth grader could tell you that if you give the $77 billion to Mr. Musk he could build us a tunnel all the way from LA to New York AND BACK AGAIN and have enough money left over to build one from…wait for it…

    healthguyfsu in reply to PapaB. | February 12, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    Fellate somewhere else on your fantasies.

    Three (among very many) basic problems with that tube at his quoted cost:

    1) They have to built in a straight line due to G forces on turns.
    2) There are no bathroom facilities so wear diapers.
    3) There are no safety escapes in breakdowns or crashes.

    Like all of Musk’s ideas, this is just another government money grab by the world’s most successful welfare queen.

jerry brown and a bunch of his cronies (including difi’s) husband were making millions off this fake project. Looks as if gavin didn’t stand to benefit from this boondoggle so he pulled the plug, nothing more, nothing less.

I think this may be the first tactical move to the “moderate”

Gavin a moderate? REALLY?

On Twitter the buzz was that Newsom was working with Pelosi to show that they won’t be pushed around.

Meanwhile, in LA …

Los Angeles is abandoning a plan to spend billions of dollars rebuilding three natural gas power plants along the coast, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Monday, in a move to get the city closer to its goal of 100% renewable energy and improve air quality in highly polluted communities.

Well finally someone has taken Baltimore’s Crown as the greatest train from nowhere to nowhere. So they have 120 miles of track out in the middle of nowhere, STILL under construction. Why?

Did this have something to do with a threatened audit of the federal funds already paid?

The High Speed rail is a fiscal disaster. Everyone knows that. But, Gov. Moonbeam was heavily invested in it. It could not be allowed to fail on HIS watch. So, Newsom kills it, while attempting to justify the completion of the existing length of rail. This protects the people who are making money on the project. It allows the state to use up the federal grant money already earmarked for the project. And, it reduces the state’s fiscal exposure over this boondoggle.

California is looking at a tremendous up-tick in social welfare spending in the near future. Along with that, they are looking at reduced income in the future. This is just a future cost cutting measure.

Follow the money.

Mr. Newsom reminds me of Mr. Romney.

Read that newsom wants to keep $3.2 billion in fed money that was supposed to go to the rail.
That might cover the Cali budget shortfall this year.

Kamala Harris claims to have smoked pot in college while listening to Tupac and Snoop.
Tupac’s first album came out in 1991.
Snoop’s first album came out in 1993.
Kamala Harris graduated law school in 1990.
Admitted to the CA Bar in 1991.

Toking while studying for Bar exam ?

I was fond of that 1970s hit by Brownsville Station, “Toking in the Boardroom”.

So basically we have a 7 billion dollar high speed rail between Merced and Bakersfield when completed. Per passenger that comes out to about 20 million dollars per ride.

    MajorWood in reply to ghost dog. | February 13, 2019 at 11:05 am

    I can only put $200 max on my HOP card. Rough calculations are that I’ll have to get off the train after a journey of 6ft.

I’m curious; how come no mention if the track planned to go through Acton; Palmdale; and points NE, through the desert, headed for Las Vegas? Pro quid quo? Gaming houses?

You know, I don’t care why Newsom axed it I am happy happy happy it has ended! I was directly impacted by this and now my quality of life (and home equity) will just go up! I was on the San Jose HSR Community Working Group and the recommendations of the citizen members were falling on deaf ears. This is best of all possible outcomes!! I could just KISS Gavin Newsom right now!! (Except I don’t do that. Kiss liberals, I mean.)

The word on the street is that the cancellation is right from Polesi’s mouth as a way of punishing the crazies in CA.

Additionally Newsom has promised NOT to return any federal funds given for the project (that is obviously not required now).

Some things never change eh.

What’s the matter with slow-speed rail? It’s called Amtrak. I’ve done the Seattle to Chicago run several times – about 40 hours. Great way to travel and relax. Dining for sleeper car passengers is always good. They go 80mph once they hit the prairie states. Costs more than coach airfare, less than driving with hotels, less than first/business class. Far less stress than other modes of travel and no TSA to contend with.

Oh but that evil diesel fuel! Dems would like to muck that up I reckon. Curious – what fuel does “high speed rail” run on? Cow farts?

The progressives want to move from planes to trains, sounds regressive to me. What’s the next step, bring back horse-drawn stagecoaches?

    CaptTee in reply to Terry T. | February 13, 2019 at 10:56 am

    Trains are a 19th Century technology that is a perfect match for the 19th Century philosophy of Progressivism.

    With trains, people are only allowed to travel where the elites allow the tracks to be built on the schedule the elites set up.

      MajorWood in reply to CaptTee. | February 13, 2019 at 11:11 am

      The Elites all go to Europe for a summer and marvel at how well the trains work there, since the distribution of villages, etc, were set up in ye olden times, and everything is quite literally “downtown.” But America, for the most part, was built in the era of individual transportation, plus our country is way bigger than ALL of Europe. That doen’t deter the elites though from applying one system into another arena where it is impractical from the start. After all, isn’t the entire country just like the Eastern Corridor.

      And what will they call the midwest when “flyover” becomes passe with no aeroplanes in which to fly over?

Have they checked with the Air Force about converting to strategic choo-choo bombers and tactical choo-choo fighters?

The Green New Deal is a clump of policies that is scientifically unsound, which for political, economic, social, and mental wellbeing, should be declared nonviable, and aborted before it progresses as a burden for the children, granny, and the People, born and unborn, too.

There is no way that this train can be anything but an economic disaster. There aren’t many people who want to travel from Merced to Barstow. They really should kill all of the train spend the money on improving I5 and boost it’s speed limit to 90 mph.

    MajorWood in reply to ConradCA. | February 13, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    I bet there is enough train money to build a high speed exit all the way over to the cliffs in Mendocino. Maybe put up a sign that says “this way to Oregon.”

Somehow, he thinks that just because he’s canceled the project, the Fed still will cough up the 4.5 billion they were going to.

I don’t think it works like that. The Federal government didn’t hand it over yet I would presume. These projects come with deadlines and completion points before the next level of cash is handed over. They have to go to the Fed for the rest and with the project canceled I don’t see them getting it. Of course some Democrat could get is thru illegally (I misunderstood!) but I think the attention will be on that 4 bill since Trump will be looking for loose cash wherever he can find it and that would be sweet twofer; take 4 billion from Newsom and Cali and build part of his wall with the dough.

Inconceivable – a Demoncrat shutting down an uneconomical black hole.