Mercury News Editorial
Pronounces Death of HSR Project
11/25/13 Filed in: High-Speed
The Mercury News
published the editorial below on the Courtâ€™s rulings.
Note the sentence in bold
editorial: High-Speed Rail ruling is right
onA Superior Court judge Monday
slowed the California bullet train boondoggle to a
It’s about time. For more than two years, Gov. Jerry
Brown and his puppet leading the California
High-Speed Rail Authority board, Dan Richard, have
overstepped their legal authority and disregarded the
will of the voters by pushing ahead full-throttle.
Judge Michael Kenny had ruled in August that the
authority “abused its discretion” by failing to
secure funds and complete environmental reviews
before authorizing expenditures.
This week, he sent the project back to the start by
blocking the authority from implementing its 2011
spending plan and refusing to provide necessary legal
blessing to the misguided issuance of $8.6 billion of
By any reasonable interpretation, this should put an
end to Brown and Richard’s bait-and-switch. But, when
it comes to high-speed rail, those two aren’t
In a statement issued after the ruling, Richard tried
to deceptively spin what the judge had said. True, as
Richard notes, the judge did not stop the project.
Rather he left it with no funding plan and the
inability to borrow money.
Until the feds start to realize they’ve been had,
there’s still a bit of money left from Washington.
But it won’t last long. It’s hard to imagine how the
project can continue to move forward.
It’s time to put an end to this fraud.
Voters were promised a system from San Diego to
Sacramento at a cost of $45 billion. Today, the price
is at least $69 billion, but would link only San
Francisco with Los Angeles.
Anticipated ticket prices have increased more than 50
percent, ridership projections have been cut by more
than half, the opening date has been pushed back nine
years to 2029, and the two-hour, 40-minute mandated
travel time from San Francisco to Los Angeles remains
The authority has never fulfilled its promise to line
up private-sector money. And critical federal funding
would require an entirely different political
environment in Washington.
Without a valid funding plan, and without the ability
to issue bonds protected from legal challenge,
California’s high-speed rail project is effectively
If Brown and Richard had one iota of intellectual
honesty about the bullet-train promises, if they had
any respect for the voters, they would abandon the
project or ask voters to approve a smaller but more
They know that’s all the authority can deliver. But
they also know voters, if asked, would reject