California’s Big Dig
Elaine Chao can take the train to Fresno off federal life support.
Jan. 16, 2017 6:38 p.m. ET
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Elaine Chao is rolling to confirmation as Transportation Secretary with little trouble. The same can’t be said of California’s beleaguered bullet train, and one of Ms. Chao’s first orders of business should be to cut the choo choo off federal life support.
Last week the Los Angeles Times reported that the first 118-mile segment in the state’s rural Central Valley could run 50% over budget, according to an internal Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) risk analysis that was labelled “confidential.” The FRA also warned that the California High-Speed Rail Authority would miss several deadlines.
The Obama Administration gave California $3.2 billion to build the 500-mile bullet train from San Francisco to Anaheim, which seven years later still isn’t shovel ready. The $10 billion in state bonds that voters approved in 2008 for the $64 billion (and counting) train have been tied up in litigation. Meanwhile, Democratic legislators have been loath to appropriate funds beyond a fraction of the revenues generated by California’s cap-and-trade program, which is also under legal challenge.
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Kill all the “boondoggles”.
If a private investor wants to risk their money, fine.
Opt the taxpayers out!
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