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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 6/18 (324 comments)

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  •  CA-10 (7+ / 0-)

    A little background explanation on this story here is needed for those who don't live in California or and haven't followed the High Speed Rail saga closely (lengthy reading so grab a cup of hot chocolate or a coffee):

    For those who haven't followed the saga of HSR (High Speed Rail) in California, it's become a political hot potato much like Jerry Brown's plan to build tunnels to funnel water under the Delta.

    Much of the arguments against building HSR in California is the cost (what a surprise) and whether or not it's worth even building the thing since someone could grab a cheap plane ticket and fly between SF and LA in 1 hour rather than the estimate 4 hours by HSR.

    Another question facing the project is where are they going to get the rest of the funding to build the whole HSR line from SF to LA. Currently the money appropriate to the project is only enough to build the first segment in the Central Valley. Any chance of more federal funding basically evaporated after the GOP took the house in 2010 especially since Kevin McCarthy and Jeff Denham have made it their mission to kill the project.

    Currently Jerry Brown has been trying to get the Chinese to loan the money needed to complete a significant chunk of the project. I have no idea if the Chinese would be up to the idea, but they have done it before in other countries. And they could try to use funds from the state's Cap and Trade system (yes believe it or not we have one) to help fund the project since the revenue from Cap and Trade has to go to projects that would help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    Then there's the criticism that starting HSR in the Central Valley is tantamount to building a train from nowhere to nowhere especially since the funding hasn't been found to complete the thing. Though really it's Washington D.C. that has mandated that construction starts in the Central Valley. And farmers aren't thrilled with the idea of giving up their land to build the thing.

    Interestingly enough political support for HSR in the Central Valley hasn't evaporated. Most Democratic office holders in the Central Valley and Republican Mayor of Fresno Ashley Swearengin haven't wavered in their support of the project. Also Cathleen Galgiani who has been the strongest defender of the project won a hotly contested state senate race last year.

    In short while I support the project, I can understand that a lot of voters who voted for the HSR bond in 2008 think now they didn't really know what they were voting for.

    The Republican party is now an extreme right-wing party that is owned by their billionaire campaign contributors. - Bernie Sanders

    by ehstronghold on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 06:35:32 PM PDT

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