Opponents of HSR Strike Back

Opponents of HSR Strike Back 08/13/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail After the Court of Appeal decision was released, HSR opponents didn’t take the defeat lying down. Instead, they filed two Petitions for Rehearing, asking the Court to reopen the case and allow further briefing and a hearing. Specifically, they claimed that the Court had used legal arguments and case authorities that hadn’t been briefed by the parties. Under these circumstances, they are entitled to a rehearing. See the petitions at the bottom of this page. Tags: HSR Litigation

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Court of Appeal Hits HSR Critics Hard

Court of Appeal Hits HSR Critics Hard 07/31/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail The Third District Court of Appeal issued rulings in the Atherton II appeal that addressed federal preemption and the Authority’s Extraordinary Writ petition recently. Both of them were very hard on HSR critics. See the posts at the bottom of the pages for links to the rulings and brief explanations. COURT OF APPEAL ALLOWS HIGH-SPEED RAIL TO VIOLATE BOND MEASURE The Third District Court of Appeal late yesterday overturned two trial rulings that had hamstrung California’s still-embattled High-Speed Rail project.The Court ruled that “The Legislature appropriated the bond proceeds based on the preliminary funding plan, however deficient, and there is no present duty to…

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Suit Challenges HSR Funding: Says It Worsens Climate Change

Suit Challenges HSR Funding: Says It Worsens Climate Change 06/23/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail | Climate Change TRANSDEF, the Transportation Solutions Defense and Education Fund, announced that it filed suit  in Fresno County Superior Court today challenging the Governor’s fallback funding scheme for High-Speed Rail (HSR). HSR was included in the list of measures to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions contained in the Update to the Scoping Plan recently adopted by the California Air Resources Board (ARB). The Scoping Plan is California’s master strategy for responding to climate change. TRANSDEF’s attorney, Stuart Flashman, commented: “As a former scientist, I was disappointed that ARB ignored the scientific evidence. The huge spike in cement production needed to build all…

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MTC Wants to Bury Dumbarton Rail

MTC Wants to Bury Dumbarton Rail 05/10/14 Filed in: MTC | Transportation Planning | High-Speed Rail The staff report for MTC’s Planning and Allocations meeting, Wednesday, May 14 at 9:40 am lays out MTC’s plans to bury the Dumbarton Rail project. Transit advocates have often noted that this project is the only possible way to avoid the cost of a new multibillion Transbay tunnel to deal with the lack of capacity in BART’s Transbay tube. On April 23, TRANSDEF filed comments [this file without exhibits] with MTC, asserting legal arguments for why the proposed elimination of Regional Measure 2 funding for the Dumbarton Rail Project would be both illegal and unwise. [Comment file with…

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Appeals to be heard in May

Appeals to be heard in May 04/30/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail Oral argument on three cases involving the CA HSR Authority will be heard by the Court of Appeal in Sacramento in May. The Town of Atherton appeal will be heard at 2:00 on Tuesday, May 20. The Extraordinary Writ for both the Tos case  and the Validation case will be heard at 9:30 on Friday, May 23. The Court is located at 914 Capitol Mall, Sacramento. Tags: HSR Litigation

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Caltrain Electrification–Has Caltrain Lost its Way?

Caltrain Electrification–Has Caltrain Lost its Way? 04/30/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail | Transportation Planning Caltrain issued its very large Draft Environmental Impact Report for its Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project, which depends on HSR funding to electrify the tracks from San Jose to San Francisco. TRANSDEF filed extensive Comments and Attachments, making the case for studying a fully worked-up DEMU (Dual-mode diesel-electric multiple unit) alternative. This alternative would accomplish many of the goals of the electrification project while remaining within the financial reach of Caltrain, now that HSR seems to be crashing. Because it would eliminate most if not all the…

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A Flurry of Amicus Briefs Hit Court

A Flurry of Amicus Briefs Hit Court 04/26/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail Transportation agencies, worried that they could lose their funding from the HSR Bond, filed amicus briefs with the Court of Appeal, as did Sen.  Galgiani, the author of AB 3034. The briefs and their replies can be found here. Tags: HSR Litigation

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Cap and Trade for HSR: Scientifically Worthless

Cap and Trade for HSR: Scientifically Worthless 04/19/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail TRANSDEF released its analysis today of the CHSRA’s Contribution of the High-Speed Rail Program to Reducing California’s Greenhouse Gas Emission Levels (June 2013). In short, the construction of HSR would generate more greenhouse gases (GHGs) than it would reduce, for at least 2 decades. Because of this, it would be illegal to use cap and trade funds, which are intended to reduce GHGs, to build HSR. What’s especially surprising about the CHSRA’s report is its overtly deceitful manner of hiding its construction emissions, and its failure to provide comprehensive emissions numbers, despite being tasked by the Legislature with identifying the project’s net GHG…

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Court of Appeals to CHSRA: No Way

Court of Appeals to CHSRA: No Way 04/15/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail The Court of Appeal summarily dismissed the CHSRA’s second Petition for Extraordinary Writ of Mandate, saying in effect that there were no legal grounds upon which to grant relief. It is expected that the desperate CHSRA will attempt to get relief from the California Supreme Court, where success is exceedingly unlikely. See all the legal papers. Tags: HSR Litigation

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