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California high speed rail is dead
Washington Examiner ^ | 06/22/2012 | Conn Carroll

Posted on 06/22/2012 6:50:02 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

The Los Angeles Times reports today:

_______________________

After encountering criticism from environmental groups, Gov. Jerry Brown signaled Wednesday that he plans to withdraw his controversial proposal to protect the California bullet train project from injunctions sought by environmental lawsuits.

Brown’s staff told key environmental groups that he would no longer include modifications to the California Environmental Quality Act in a package of legislation this month asking for $6 billion to start construction of the high-speed rail project.

…........

Dan Richard, chairman of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, had first raised the possibility of some legal protections from lawsuits in a Senate hearing, saying he would rather be able to respond to future lawsuits by mitigating problems than having his project stopped with an injunction.

Brown endorsed that idea soon after, sending proposed language to the Legislature that set a high bar for environmental suits and making the revisions retroactive to the start of this year. That measure could have affected the one suit that has already been filed by the farm bureaus of Merced and Madera counties, Madera County and others. The lawsuit contends that the environmental review of the project’s segment from Merced to Fresno was inadequate.

____________________

The Los Angeles Times does not fully report this out, but Brown’s decision not to bypass CEQA essentially kills California’s high speed rail project.

President Obama’s stimulus allocated $8 billion for high-speed rail projects, including, eventually, up to $3.5 billion for California’s project. However, according to the stimulus law, California must begin construction on the project before December 31, 2012 or they will not be eligible for any more high speed rail stimulus dollars. Obama’s Transportation Department reaffirmed this time limit last year when they admitted they had “no administrative authority to change this deadline.”

Fast forward to this June when the city of Chowchilla filed suit to stop construction of the project alleging that the High Speed Rail Authority failed to conduct a proper Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA).

Studies show that the average time to complete the NEPA process is 6.1 years. And NEPA is designed to be a preventative statute. Federal courts routinely issue injunctions to stop projects before they ever begin. That is why oil companies preemptively sued environmental groups earlier this year over leases in Alaska. They wanted to get the litigation out of the way so they could begin oil exploration as fast as possible.

Now the city of Chowchilla could cave and voluntary dismiss their lawsuit. But there are other groups eager to challenge the project in court too. Farmers have already sued to stop the project in state court alleging that the Rail Authority’s plan violates the wording of the state ballot measure that created. If they lose on those grounds, there is nothing stopping them, or other farmers, from later pursuing a NEPA or CEQA claim.

Either way, there is simply no way California will be able to break ground on the project before the federal deadline.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: california; ceqa; environment; environmentalimpact; highspeedrail; nepa
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1 posted on 06/22/2012 6:50:06 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind; Willie Green

Willie Green is deeply saddened.


2 posted on 06/22/2012 6:55:19 AM PDT by kevkrom (Those in a rush to trample the Constitution seem to forget that it is the source of their authority.)
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To: kevkrom

Add to that King Putt is also saddened


3 posted on 06/22/2012 7:03:33 AM PDT by UB355 (Slower traffic keep right)
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To: kevkrom

What a shame, another easy mark lost to purification.


4 posted on 06/22/2012 7:03:59 AM PDT by wita
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To: SeekAndFind
Have to admit, didn't see this train wreck coming.
5 posted on 06/22/2012 7:05:56 AM PDT by AGreatPer (Any Republican. Just NO Obama.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Up next....the Death Valley canal to handle all the barge traffic.


6 posted on 06/22/2012 7:07:56 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: SeekAndFind

Jerry so wanted the HSR to be his legacy! The first train even has been named ... The Brown Streak!


7 posted on 06/22/2012 7:08:21 AM PDT by cartoonistx
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To: SeekAndFind

Not a fan of choo-choo boondoggles, but the real story here is that ANY sort of development project in this country is now doomed by the tireless Lilliputian attacks of Environmentalists.


8 posted on 06/22/2012 7:15:24 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: SeekAndFind
California high speed rail is dead

Like a vampire that sucks the economic lifeblood from the hard working taxpayers, Kalifornia high speed rail has been put back in its coffin this time, but politicians and bureaucrats will keep bringing it back. Really bad ideas in government never actually die. They're just put in the closet and pulled out from time to time when their proponents think they can get away with them.

In the middle of a recession, Ga politician want to suck the lifeblood out of the metro area taxpayers with a 1% additional "transportation sales tax" (over half of which will go to MARTA) supposedly to relieve traffic congestion. Nothing could be further from the truth. The tax is just a multibillion money grab to enrich government and some of it's pet contractors at the expense of the taxpayers. Sadly it will probably pass. The Ga chamber of commerce has spent seven million dollars on advertising to push this campaign anticipating a five thousand fold increase in payoff if it passes.

9 posted on 06/22/2012 7:23:08 AM PDT by from occupied ga (Your government is your most dangerous enemy)
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To: cartoonistx

LOL!


10 posted on 06/22/2012 7:27:17 AM PDT by Inspectorette
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To: SeekAndFind

I love the smell of fratricide in the morning!

(Lib version, of course.)


11 posted on 06/22/2012 7:37:26 AM PDT by Uncle Miltie (Nobody died at Watergate. Who were Brian Terry and Jamie Zapata? (Post this on Facebook, everyone!))
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To: Uncle Miltie

How will I ever get from Modesto to Bakersfield now?


12 posted on 06/22/2012 8:05:14 AM PDT by Kozy (Calling Al Gore)
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To: SeekAndFind

Wow the environazis derailed the Brownie/Baraqqi gravy train?


13 posted on 06/22/2012 8:09:57 AM PDT by nascarnation
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To: Buckeye McFrog

Heck,we couldn`t build the Interstate system today

See it all the time here with stop the pipeline protests

No Quarry signs.No new landfill signs.

I can see two smoke stacks at a TVA coal plant (we call

it the steam plant)from my house

It mostly uses three GE gas turbines these days to

produce electricity


14 posted on 06/22/2012 8:15:20 AM PDT by Harold Shea (RVN `70 - `71)
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To: SeekAndFind

I thought this high-speed rail job was sold by aRnie and his henchmen as bypassing enviro standards to expedite construction and thus create jobs fast..

and so did a lot of other voters that sucked in the hook for this latest mostronsity courtesy of Big Red.

Boy, were they foooled.. again.


15 posted on 06/22/2012 8:34:33 AM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi)
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To: AGreatPer

I thought it would happen, and I’ll bet it’s collusion between the enviro lawyers and the government transit lawyers. Bleed the taxpayers for every penny they can. When I heard they’d only allocated a few $Billion for the project, I’d thought it wasn’t even enough to break ground, it’ll all be eaten up by the shysters.


16 posted on 06/22/2012 9:11:15 AM PDT by FlyVet
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To: SeekAndFind

Lawsuited to death. Ironic.

I am glad this madness will not be going forward, though.


17 posted on 06/22/2012 9:26:40 AM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: cartoonistx

“Jerry so wanted the HSR to be his legacy! The first train even has been named ... The Brown Streak!”

Back when he was running for Boy Governor, there were campaign posters that proclaimed “IF iT’S BROWN, FLUSH IT!” Looks like they need to make a “comeback.” It’s wonderful to watch this idiot self-destructing. Here’s hoping he dies a broken man for what he has done to this state.


18 posted on 06/22/2012 9:39:49 AM PDT by vette6387
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To: cartoonistx

"...damned hippies..."

19 posted on 06/22/2012 9:49:29 AM PDT by RckyRaCoCo (I prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery, IXNAY THE TSA!)
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To: SeekAndFind
After encountering criticism from environmental groups, Gov. Jerry Brown signaled Wednesday that he plans to withdraw his controversial proposal to protect the California bullet train project from injunctions sought by environmental lawsuits.

Yup, Moonbeam, don't you dare to keep them from getting their cut.

Brown’s staff told key environmental groups that he would no longer include modifications to the California Environmental Quality Act in a package of legislation this month asking for $6 billion to start construction of the high-speed rail project.

After all, it doesn't matter if it actually gets built, as long as they get to keep spending.

20 posted on 06/22/2012 11:44:28 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (The Slave Party Switcheroo: Economic crisis! Zero's eligibility Trumped!! Hillary 2012!!!)
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