California Gov. says he’s committed to rail line

13 February, 2019, 16:18 | Author: Myra Gill
  • California must tackle mounting wildfire risk amid an energy transition

The rail project, which was meant to connect the northern and southern parts of the state, will now connect Bakersfield and Merced in the San Joaquin Valley breadbasket, filling a glaring gap in the state system and keeping Newsom's campaign promise to help that often overlooked part of California.

The embattled $77-billion bullet train has been an embarrassment for the Golden State and has been plagued by problems nearly from the start.

"This so-called bullet train is a solution in search of a problem that is plagued by billions of dollars in cost overruns and fiscal mismanagement", San Diego Councilman Mark Kersey told Fox News in 2018, adding that the billions wasted on the project "could have been invested in our current infrastructure needs, such as water storage, flood control, highways and bridges".

"I have nothing but respect for Governor Brown's and Governor Schwarzenegger's vision". "We'll connect the revitalized Central Valley to other parts of the state, and continue to push for more federal funding and private dollars".

California Governor Gavin Newsom said he is scuttling plans to build a high-speed railroad between Los Angeles and San Francisco, saying the ambitious project that was approved by voters is too costly.

The speech came a day after Newsom defied Trump by ordering that several hundred National Guard troops withdraw from California's border with Mexico, days after Trump announced that he had ordered 3,750 troops to the country's southern border to prepare for a "tremendous onslaught" of immigrants seeking to enter the country.

He promised that this part of the project would be more transparent going forward.

Newsom said in his first State of the State address Tuesday that he has convened a team of the nation's best bankruptcy lawyers and financial experts from the energy sector.


"Last week, we heard (Trump) stand up at the State of the Union and offer a vision of an America fundamentally at odds with California values", he said.

Brown had agreed to deploy troops at the Trump administration's request previous year, although he said they couldn't participate in immigration enforcement.

Newsom said National Guard officials will instead be used to help with wildfire suppression and drug enforcement.

Newsom disputed Trump's claim there is a crisis on the border and said any need for National Guard troops was eliminated when Trump decided earlier this month to add 3,750 more US troops at the border.

In the speech, Newsom also announced plans to scale back California's bullet train, and talked about combating the state's surge in wildfires, the bankruptcy of its largest utility in PG&E, public school funding and expanding health care coverage.

He appointed Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg to lead a new state commission focused on California's homeless crisis.

The governor has invited the leaders of 47 other noncomplying cities to a meeting next week for what he called "a candid conversation". "These cities need to summon the political courage to build their fair share of housing".

"I don't know what the right adjective is without coming off as hyperbolic; the whole thing is ridiculous", Newsom said. "PG&E didn't do enough to secure unsafe equipment or plan for the future".

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