It is a pleasant change from the usual San Jose Mercury News-San Mateo County Times' "progressive" editorials when they attack the High Cost Rail project. The Friday piece was a gem
Enough with the high-speed rail lunacy.
The Legislature needs to derail the budget deal reportedly cobbled together Thursday by Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic leaders that calls for spending 25 percent of future cap-and-trade revenue on California's high-speed rail boondoggle.
The Legislature at a minimum has to re-establish its own credibility in having passed AB 32, the greenhouse gas reduction law, in 2006. But it also should withdraw its support for the bullet train and tell the governor to give it up.
They go on to suggest
The Legislature also has backed high-speed rail, but it should draw the line at siphoning away cap-and-trade revenue for it. Brown wants the train as his legacy, but this scheme smacks of desperation.
Instead he and the Legislature should go back to voters to ask if they support the stripped down bullet train now planned at exponentially higher cost.
One can only hope that another vote would happen since that would result in the boondoggle being scrapped and fading away. But what is the chance of that happening? Not good. A better possibility is more critical rulings in lawsuits. Another suit popped up recently described here and reminds us of one of my hot buttons--the quake threat
Among the most serious allegations in the lawsuit are that the new EIR purposefully ignored the rail authority’s own report about the riskiness of its route.
On Sept. 12, 2013, in response to a California Public Records Act request by Californians Advocating Responsible Rail Design, the rail authority released an internal report on geologic and seismic hazards facing the Fresno-Bakersfield route.
According to the lawsuit, the report “concluded that the risks of ground rupture, seismically induced ground deformations, shallow groundwater, soil corrosivity, and land subsidence were moderate to high along the Section alignment. The Report determined that most of these geotechnical hazards are distributed across the Central Valley or run perpendicular to the section alignment.”
But the new EIR did not acknowledge the rail authority’s own findings that geologic and seismic hazards were probably unavoidable on the planned route. Instead, the EIR concluded such risks were only in “localized areas.”
Opponents must keep pointing at the Emperor's Clothes since the emperor ain't listening.