Trump cancels funding for high-speed rail

May 17, 2019

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

The Trump Administration has followed through on its threat to revoke nearly $1 billion in funding for California’s controversial high-speed rail project, a decision the state says it will challenge in court. [Cal Coast Times]

On Thursday, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced it terminated an agreement with the California High-Speed Rail Authority that contained $928.6 million in funding. Likewise, the federal agency said it is considering all of its options to recover $2.5 billion in funds already given to the high-speed rail project.

California has repeatedly failed to comply with the terms of the agreement and has failed to make reasonable progress on the project, the FRA said in a statement.

“Additionally, California has abandoned its original vision of a high-speed passenger rail service connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles, which was essential to its applications for FRA grant funding,” the statement says.

The planned high-speed rail, which President Donald Trump has criticized repeatedly, was intended to link Northern California to Southern California and, in particular, San Francisco to Los Angeles. The project has been delayed by problems with securing funding, acquiring privately held land and fighting legal challenges.

In February, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that California would shift its focus to constructing a rail line from Bakersfield to Merced. Newsom has claimed, though, the state still intends to complete the rail link between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The following month, the Federal Railroad Administration informed California that it planned to terminate the $928.6 funding agreement.

In a letter sent Thursday to the High-Speed Rail Authority, the federal agency said California was chronically behind on construction; unable to accurately forecast a long-term schedule and costs for the project; and unable to submit fundamental documents, such as budgets, funding contribution plans and project management plans.

Newsom responded with a statement calling the cancellation of federal funding for the high-speed rail political retribution and saying California would challenge the Trump Administration’s decision in court.

“The Trump Administration’s action is illegal and a direct assault on California, our green infrastructure and thousands of Central Valley workers who are building this project,” Newsom said.

“Just as we have seen from the Trump Administration’s attacks on our clean air standards, our immigrant communities and in countless other areas, the Trump Administration is trying to exact political retribution on our state.

“This is California’s money, appropriated by Congress, and we will vigorously defend it in court.”


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nunsense

A couple things, regardless of your politics:

Projects such as the “big dig” in Boston was way over budget and time BUT it did deliver on what it was supposed to do

This project is not now or ever will be “HSR” as it was advertised

It will cost multiple times more than advertised

It will not connect LA to SF ever such that it will be faster or cheaper than driving let alone flying

It will never have the ridership to support it


So have your dreams but reality is it ain’t going to happen. how about LA to Vegas?


AmericaTheFree

What this is actually about is California’s standing as a sanctuary state, plane and simple! When the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld SB 54 (in a unanimous decision, by the way) it pi$$ed off the Party of Trump The Pervert and this is their way of pay back.

Don’t worry though, the wheels are about to come off this administration (and it’s immoral, misogamist, homophobe, thieving perverted leader) as the first Republican has called for impeachment.(a)

Now all we can hope for is the process is “fast tracked”, right?


https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/18/politics/justin-amash-trump-impeachable-conduct/index.html


mercut1469

Um, plain, misogynist—you might want to keep a dictionary handy while writing. People notice and usually dismiss such writing as drivel (look it up, you produce it).


AmericaTheFree

Only those who can’t see past the spelling while ignoring the truth that those words represent would consider it “drivel”…

I guess you’re just used to the often misspoken confusing hyperbole and constant twitter feed comin’ from your white house theses days, right? Can’t compete with that now can I.

Thanks’ for the lesson though…


TKG

About time! No need to be party to the flagrant waste of California’s poor decisions.


MrYan

You’re so right. That billion dollars would be much better spent bailing out farmers in red states who already take in more Federal dollars than they contribute.


You’re merely shifting the wasteful spending (out of state), not stopping it.


Wasteful or not, I would rather have those dollars in our state economy than given to a “Welfare Red State”. My Republican voting nephews in the Central Valley really enjoy those prevailing wage jobs. You’re hurting your own cheering this on.


Laughlines

This project never had a chance. The ridership estimates were absurdly optimistic. The European consultants recommended using the I-5 corridor, in which most of the earthwork has already been done. It’s 10 years behind schedule and $44 billion over budget. The original promise of L.A. to San Francisco in 3 hours is dead and gone. The state has mismanaged this thing horribly. Your personal feelings about Donald Trump don’t alter those facts. Ralph Vartabedian of the L.A. Times has done great reporting on this boondoggle. I recommend checking his pieces out. Long past time to cancel this thing and cut our losses.


oldtimer

Agreed, not to mention economic disruption due to odd weather and mass natural disasters in the usa, China tarrifs, Saudi Arabia public murders and Opec fluctuations, etc. Federal gov needs to support infrastructure and the pain full process of progress. Less money to DOD contracting and international war, more to infrustructure. And Government subsidies for industrial debt farming with no benefit to usa citizens, plus natural disaster is so insane. California exports more natural gas and oil than it use, and we don’t own the oil like up in Alaska. Yet we support corporate fracking?!?!


Fedup

WOW! I never knew that Trump could control the weather. He is way better than I thought he was.


Snoid

Red Welfare states? There are more people living of the tax payer funded welfare teat in California than probably half the states in the US combined.Dosent matter where you think the money should go, its not yours to choose. Typical Ca CC resident arrogance. Humble yourself there MrYan, Contrary to your own beliefs,your not that bitchen dude.


MrYan

…”tax funded welfare state(sic) in California than probably half the states.”..


LA County has more registered voters than 42 states! Californians contribute more to Federal Government than we get in return. Fact. No probably about it.


We do have more people on welfare than probably half the states as you said. But I don’t think you have a good grasp of numbers. It is simple math SNOID. We are 10% of the entire population of the USA. We subsidize Red States with our Federal tax dollars. Undisputed.


You’re just a bitchin’ dude, but you’re not bitchin’…dude. I guess I got that all wrapped up. Thanks for recognizing the difference.


BTW—you need to understand the difference between a preference and a choice. I prefer to keep all the Federal tax dollars I can in the state. I choose representation that reflects this preference.


Rambunctious

This High speed rail development was a huge blunder…it must have been sent to us via a beam from the moon…..I hope Californians have learned something from this debacle…but I doubt they have…


Wildrnes

Maybe Deutsche Bank will give California a loan? Afterall, it loaned duckets to a bankrupt-casino slime ball who inspired Jabba the Hutt.


oldtimer

You have to own a failed Beef business branded with your name, and bankrupt multiple Casinos to qualify for that 1% debt to the high life.


Wildrnes

Thanks oldtimer!

Here is the link to one of the president’s failed exploits:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trump_Steaks


shishkabob141

Failure to perform has consequences. The entire government should be held to the same standards.


oldtimer

How is it failed if it’s not complete? Things go over budget, this is America, Patons make things expensive, so do pensions. I can send you a link with federal tax dollar dispersion, I think you might be shocked.


shishkabob141

It’s failed because no matter how much we may wish for it to be completed it doesn’t show signs of ever being so. Part of the train was to run on tracks not even suited for high speed trains-meaning it was never going to reach maximum speed or meet promised times. Many doubted CA leadership was capable of completing a project of this size and scope, but we always seem to ensure a huge payday for the connected few, and on that this project did not fail.


rukidding

Wake up people. As they say there is a new Sheriff in town and he is hard on crime. So California you have been caught and the game is over, But you are mostly Democrats and, as we all have seen, you will do anything in order to justify your incompetency and corruption. Trump got this one right.


oldtimer

Yeah, he’ll end up building just a train Terminal shaped like the Taj, then never build a rail line, but sift a couple mill off the top after bankruptcy and protection. He wins every time, hate the game not the player I guess. Some call that immoral though, nay sayers!


Wildrnes

A new Sheriff in town? U r kidding?

This sheriff is way more corrupt than the cop in Training Day.