Press Coverage of HSR Hearing

The hearing on the Tos Part 2 challenge to CHSRA compliance with the requirements of Proposition 1A was held on February 11, 2016. For a listing of the press generated by the hearing, see the bottom of this page.

High-Speed Rail Dragged Back to Court

The California High-Speed Rail Authority, along with the Governor, the State Treasurer, State Controller and others are back in Department 31 of the Sacramento Superior Court on Thursday, February 11 at 9:00 am. They are fighting a motion by the Tos plaintiffs for an injunction that would shut off all funding for the construction of the current HSR project. A full description of the case, along with the briefs, is available here.

ARB Not In Touch With Transporation

A collection of TRANSDEF’s comments to the Air Resources Board (ARB) was recently posted:

Testimony to ARB on Regional GHG Emissions Reduction Targets: “These targets will result in increased emissions in this sector, due to population growth. This is going in the wrong direction, and would send the wrong signal to the rest of the world about ARB's view of the need for urgent reductions in GHG emissions.”
ARB’s 2013 Scoping Plan Update: “Staff recognizes the need for "Fundamental transformation of transportation system needed to meet goals" but seems to have little grasp of the institutional barriers to that transformation.” Read More...

Big Flurry of End-of-Year Postings

The combination of intense litigation activity and two personal losses resulted in the TRANSDEF website falling seriously behind in 2015. Taking advantage of a quiet spell after the filing of the STB Opening Brief, the site has been reorganized and updated with large amounts of new information. Look for the yellow NEW icons scattered around.

An entirely new
Government Dysfunction section was created. It now contains a page on the proposed MTC-ABAG merger. Watch for more pages! Many of the previous navigation tabs have been consolidated into new Regional Planning and County-Level Planning sections. Read More...

Opening Brief Filed in STB Appeal

TRANSDEF and its allies Kings County, Kings County Farm Bureau, California Citizens for High-Speed Rail Accountability, Community Coalition on High-Speed Rail, California Rail Foundation, and Dignity Health today filed the Opening Brief in their appeal of the federal Surface Transportation Board’s Declaratory Order. That decision eliminated the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s need to comply with CEQA, due to the STB’s assertion of federal preemption of all federal, state, and local regulations pertaining to interstate railroads. See the Briefs.

Taxpayer Challenge to High-Speed Rail Files Devastating Brief


The legal team challenging the California High-Speed Rail Authority's compliance with the 2008 Proposition 1A High-Speed Rail Bond Measure filed a
supplemental brief today. It explains the legal significance of a secret document recently uncovered by the Los Angeles Times. The Authority had resisted releasing it. Pressure from the State Assembly Republican Caucus and several Republican congressmen eventually forced the Authority to make it public. After the Authority capitulated, the court allowed the plaintiffs to file a supplemental brief.

Plaintiff Aaron Fukuda said "We hope this brief puts a stake in the heart of this boondoggle. The Authority's goal line defense to keep this document secret tells you just how damaging they knew it was."

Attorney Stuart Flashman said, "It’s understandable why the Authority wanted this evidence kept hidden. It directly contradicts the cost estimates in the Final 2014 Business Plan. The Business Plan’s deceptively lowered costs successfully pulled the wool over legislators’ eyes. Two months later, they gave the Authority billions of dollars in a multi-year gift of climate change mitigation funds. It’s hard to believe that would have happened had they known what a bottomless money pit the project had become."

A verdict for the plaintiffs would not only prevent HSR bond funds from being used for construction, it would shut off federal grants and state climate change funds as well.
Read More...