With Cap-And-Trade Money And Lawsuits, High Speed Rail At Critical Juncture In 2014
California’s $68 billion high speed rail project ran into a rough stretch of track late last year, with judge ruling that the project has failed to comply with financing and environmental review requirements in 2008's voter-approved Proposition 1A. While those rulings and a separate lawsuit about the sale of $8.6 billion in bonds, didn't stop work on the project, they did cast serious doubt about how the rail authority plans to move forward.
Those issues were followed on Monday with a report from the Sacramento Bee that Governor Brown plans to use money from the state's cap-and-trade carbon offset program to help pay for construction of the rail line, a plan previously considered a "backstop" in other money from the federal government didn't materialize.
So just what might the new year hold for the state's massive transportation infrastructure project? We asked reporter Tim Sheehan of The Fresno Bee to join us on Valley Edition and offer his perspectives. Tim has been covering the inner workings of high speed rail for years, and is following everything from the use of eminent domain to acquire property to the farmers in Kings County who are leading the lawsuits against the rail authority.