California Governor Jerry Brown’s “bullet train project” that was going to save the environment is on life support.
If you’ll recall, Californians cooked up this rat-hole for money about 10 years ago and managed to get a ballot proposition past for the first $6 billion in funding. The project as advertised for the ballot proposition was going to cost about $30 billion. Within 90 days of the proposition success the cost had risen $128 billion. Even California taxpayers screamed at that so the state commission charged with building the project reduced the cost to about $64 billion.
The project initially was going to rely on private funding for most of the money to build out the rail line from San Francisco to Los Angeles. The quickest way from San Francisco to LA is straight down the coast, but that would disrupt whole bunch of very wealthy “environmentalists” who didn’t want a train going a hundred miles an hour obstructing their view. The bullet train was rerouted to go through the Central Valley because nobody in San Francisco or Los Angeles (or Sacramento) cares what the farmers in Fresno think.
The project planners were shocked to discover that no private money was interested in “investing” in high-speed rail in California. Not even big time, very wealthy environmentalists. They may be stupid, but they’re not all THAT stupid.
Here’s where they were about six months ago. Six months behind schedule and 15% over budget on one small section, and begging for another $200 million which, if you know anything about government projects, is a very small drop in a bucket.
Just how stupid is the California high-speed rail project? Well, it’s so stupid that even Barack Obama, on his way out the door, won’t give them any money. According to the Los Angeles Times, California was so sure that Hillary Clinton was going to be president that they bet the farm on getting a $15 billion loan underwritten.
Not gonna happen.
The state of California set up a meeting to ask the U.S. Department of Transportation to announce a federal loan of up to $15 billion to help build in an initial rail segment from San Jose to Shafter, just northwest of Bakersfield. That commitment would lock in federal support during the transition to a new presidential administration, certainly headed by Hillary. The hope was to show private investors the project was credit worthy.
Officials from the Department of Transportation derailed the project. California is in getting a federal loan or loan guarantee.
In a fit of understatement the Los Angeles Times noted, “The failure of the last ditch effort leaves the project’s future in doubt.”
Thanks to marijuana legalization in California, state officials will now be able to sit around on floor pillows, smoking weed and fantasizing about getting some of the $1 trillion the Donald Trump talked about spending on infrastructure. Hint to California officials, there isn’t enough weed to make that happen.
Donald Trump being inaugurated as the 45th president and California getting stuck with the start of a bullet train that will quickly turn into the rust and ruin that California has become starts 2017 off with a real bang.
Now if we just defund the UN…
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