Green Madness: Bullet Train, High Priority – Dams for Water Storage, on the Back Burner

Posted by Tina

Radical greens show inconsistency in their principles all the time. All you have to do is scratch the surface of that holier than thou veneer to see it. For instance, California greens can’t wait to blow up the San Gabriel Mountains in California to create a series of tunnels for the beloved bullet train. But damming up a river to create a reliable and much needed water source is resisted, or cancelled, because supposedly altering the natural flow of a river would be disastrous. In terms of the needs of Californians, this is madness.

According to Ralph Vartabedian of the LA Times engineers for the bullet train will be punching through 36 miles of “geologically complex mountains” that “cross the tectonic boundary” separating the “North American and Pacific plates.” This area is filled with “fractured rock formations” and a tangle of “earthquake faults.” Some of those faults have never been mapped. Anyone that’s overseen a building project can attest to the insanity of environmental studies that must be complete prior to obtaining permits to commence building. How in he77 did this project ever get the okay?

There’s something terribly wrong with this picture. What’s wrong is that government no longer serves the people. Our radical left Democrat Party controlled state government serves the power elites. It caters to special interest groups who don’t mind setting aside their strict demands for purity on environmental issues when the project is something they want or when they can strike the right bargain.

A consorteum of seven Japanese companies have explored the possibility of being involved in the bullet train project. However the The Japan Times reports concerns about funding:

“The total funding identified is still insufficient” to deliver an initial operating segment, Parsons wrote in its 17-page submission. “This shortfall, as well as the uncertainty around these sources, must be addressed.”

Where does the state figure in this ongoing expensive project?

The state Legislature agreed last year to provide the first ongoing source of financial support to the project by tapping revenues from the state’s greenhouse gas emissions program in which companies buy and sell pollution credits. That amounted to $750 million over the last two fiscal years, with a promise of 25 percent of “cap and trade” revenues into the future. Voters in 2008 also approved nearly $10 billion in bonds, and the federal government has committed $3.5 billion in matching funds.

I wondered what deals were made with radical greens to get them to remain silent on this destructive project and there’s the answer. I would bet that California’s cap and trade law was the prize they won for co-operation:

The state has sold $2.27 billion of CO2 allowances—$1.4 billion from the utility-controlled pool and the balance from the state pool.

That is a lot of money. How is it being used?

The utilities have to spend their proceeds on things like alternative or renewable fuels, or by giving relief to customers.

The state’s share goes toward its Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, which, among other goals, supports projects that reduce pollution. This year, Gov. Jerry Brown reached a deal with the state legislature to spend $250 million from the fund to help build a $68 billion bullet-train system; a quarter of all future revenue from the fund will go toward the project. The rest of the money in the greenhouse fund will go toward a variety of legislative priorities that include affordable housing and transit projects, as well as infrastructure and water conservation projects. In 2013, the state drew criticism for borrowing $500 million of cap-and-trade dollars to balance the state’s general fund budget.

Well there you have it.The greens got their cap and trade. Money from cap and trade will be used to help fund the bullet train project (and make our budget appear to be balanced). It will not go toward water storage projects, only water “conservation” (read restrictions). And just for fun, it creates greater costs for utilities, manufacturing, and other businesses which drive prices higher for California citizens.

That’s not to say that greens didn’t try to stop the Brown’s choo choo project. Seven lawsuits were filed. The state settled one of them. The federal government stepped in to handle the rest:

SACRAMENTO (AP) — A federal agency that has jurisdiction over California’s bullet train has ruled that it has the authority to pre-empt state environmental law, creating uncertainty for numerous groups fighting the project in court.

In a decision made public Monday, the U.S. Surface Transportation Board ruled that lawsuits challenging the high-speed rail line under the California Environmental Quality Act conflict with its authority over railroads.

It’s pretty widely understood that the bullet train will not be self-sustaining. The cost of a ticket to ride will never be able to cover the costs of running and maintaining the train. That means it will be subsidized by tax dollars forevah!

Meanwhile California can look forward to continuing cycles of drought and wasted wet years when water could be captured. Greens will continue to push their agenda as it suits them. Brown will not be denied his pet project. And Californians will not be well served.

This is madness.

This entry was posted in Environment. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Green Madness: Bullet Train, High Priority – Dams for Water Storage, on the Back Burner

  1. J. Soden says:

    Prediction: The “bullet train” will become a bigger financial boondoggle than Boston’s Big Dig. All of the $$ authorized by voters has already been spent, and there’s no end in sight for additional $pending.
    And that’s not even counting the idea of building a stationary track over seismically active faults!
    Where oh where is another Ballot Initiative to halt any further descent into financial madne$$? Barring that, it’s time to leave Taxifornia!

    • Tina says:

      Unfortunately Californians gave this project a thumbs up at the ballot box.

      Things like where will the money come from are easily answered these days…the rich will pay. In dollars maybe. The rest of us pay in loss of jobs and opportunity. Future generations will pay in lost jobs and opportunity and tremendous debt.

      OR…this will just add to that huge pile of dog droppings that could through the entire world into a deflationary depression.


      NY Times

      IB Times

      It is looking more and more like the only choice is moving out of this state…but with the country and the world in such an economic mess….

  2. Libby says:

    “It’s pretty widely understood that the bullet train will not be self-sustaining.”

    Most of our social infrastructure isn’t, but would you really want to live in a country without it? Or shall we install toll booths at Sacramento, Williams, Orland & Redding?

  3. Tina says:

    Libby I wasn’t referring just to maintenance costs. The projected ticket price is more than the cost of a plane ride and still it will not cover operating costs. That’s just bad business and a recipe for high taxes paid by the many for the luxury of the few.

    When they sold construction of the Bay Bridge it was estimated that the toll would only last until the bridge was paid off. Gasoline and other related taxes would pay for the maintenance. Then the legislators got spending happy and decided to “borrow” those monies for other things. They do this often, assuming we’ll never notice. But it’s gotten completely out of hand. We are no longer appropriately prioritizing and the mismanagement of our hard earned dollars is irresponsible to say the least.

    We in California pay the second highest gasoline taxes in the nation. (It may be the highest now due to hidden cap and trade taxes) There should be more than enough money to maintain and repair our infrastructure if it is properly managed and used year after year. It isn’t (Thanks Arnold).

Leave a Reply to Tina Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *