«California High-Speed Rail (abbreviated CAHSR or CHSR) is a high-speed rail system under construction in the U.S. state of California. It is projected to connect the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center in Anaheim and Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles with the Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco via the Central Valley, providing a one-seat ride between Union Station and San Francisco in 2 hours and 40 minutes. Future extensions are planned to connect to stations to San Diego County via the Inland Empire, as well as to Sacramento. ….
The CAHSRA was established by an act of the California State Legislature and tasked with presenting a high-speed rail plan to the voters. This plan, Proposition 1A, was presented to and approved by voters in 2008 and included a $9-billion bond to begin construction on the initial leg of the network.
Construction began in 2015 after a groundbreaking ceremony in Fresno.
On February 12, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom in his first State of the State address announced that, while work would continue on the 171-mile (275 km) Central Valley segment from Bakersfield to Merced, the rest of the system would be indefinitely postponed, citing cost overruns and delays ….
The 2008 business plan proposed a 2028 completion date for Phase 1 and a one-way fare of $55 from Los Angeles to San Francisco. In 2012 the Authority re-estimated the project’s cost at $53.4 billion (2011$) or $68.4 billion (YOE) In 2018 the Authority pushed estimated costs to between $63.2 billion and $98.1 billion (YOE) and delayed initial service to 2029, with Los Angeles to San Francisco service in 2033» [Fonte]
Nel 2008 lo stato della California deliberò la costruzione di una linea ad alta velocità che collegasse la capitale Sacramento, quindi San Francisco fino a San Diego, coprendo una distanza iniziale di 840 km, per un fine progetto di 1,300 km, cui aggiungere i rami collaterali. Il costo dell’opera era stato inizialmente preventivato a 9 miliardi Usd, circa il costo sostenuto per studiare il progetto.
Nel 2018 il costo dell’opera
era levitato a 98 miliardi Usd.
Il problema attuale dello stato della California è banale: non hanno più fondi disponibili e quindi l’intera opera è virtualmente bloccata, né si riesce a capire se o quando possa essere ripresa.
La California ha ottenuto una grande quantità di fondi federali, una parte di finanziamento diretto, un’altra, per nulla trascurabile, di sovvenzioni varie, per esempio, alla ricerca e progettazione.
La California è infatti oberata dal debito pubblico.
«We estimate that California’s total state and local government debt as of June 30, 2017 totaled just over $1.5 trillion. That total includes all outstanding bonds, loans, and other long-term liabilities, along with the officially reported unfunded liability for other post-employment benefits (primarily retiree healthcare), as well as unfunded pension liabilities.
This represents a rise of about $200 billion – or 15% – over our last debt analysis, in January 2017 ….
Our analysis differs from government reporting in a few ways, the most significant of which is governments’ use of a very generous expected rate of return on their pension fund investments. Using a more accurate rate, we calculate the total of unfunded pensions in California at $846 billion – $530 billion more than the official estimate of $316 billion. But even using only the officially reported estimates, California’s state and local governments are about $1.0 trillion in debt.» [California Policy Center]
Con un debito statale di 1,500 miliardi, dei quali 846 miliardi usati per finanziare i fondi pensioni, lo stato della California ha ben poche possibilità di accedere ulteriormente al credito.
Non solo, secondo quanto riportano le statistiche federali, il debito delle istituzioni locali sarebbe più che doppio di quello statale.
* * * * * * *
«The Trump administration said on Thursday it was formally cancelling $929 million in previously awarded funding for California’s high-speed rail program after rejecting an appeal by the state»
«The U.S. railway regulator, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), said on Thursday it had canceled the funding awarded in a 2010 agreement after it said the state had “repeatedly failed to comply” and “failed to make reasonable progress on the project.”»
«The decision is the latest salvo in an ongoing battle between the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump and California over a series of issues including immigration, vehicle emissions standards and internet policy»
«The largest U.S. state has repeatedly sued the Trump administration and officials expect the state will sue over the rescinding of rail funding»
«The Trump administration moved to end funding after California Governor Gavin Newsom said in February the state would scale back the planned $77.3 billion high-speed rail project after cost hikes, delays and management concerns, but would finish a smaller section»
«The Obama administration awarded California $3.5 billion in 2010 and California voters in 2008 approved nearly $10 billion in bond proceeds. In March 2018, the state forecast project costs had jumped $13 billion to $77 billion and warned costs could be as much as $98.1 billion.»
«Federal officials may also claw back $2.5 billion in funds»
* * * * * * * *
Negli Stati Uniti, e parzialmente anche nell’Unione Europea, è in corso una vera e propria guerra civile.
La sconfitta elettorale alle elezioni presidenziali ha spinto i liberal democratici ad una aperta ribellione: non essendo riusciti a vincere politicamente nelle urne hanno puntato tutto sulle dimostrazioni di piazza, sul tentativo di demonizzare Mr Trump, su di una campagna giudiziaria ove le corti di livello inferiore bloccavano gli ordini esecutivi della White House, avendo a cassa di risonanza tutti i media. Salvo poi vedersi le sentenze cassate dalla Corte Suprema.
Ciò nonostante, Mr Trump alle elezioni di midterm è riuscito a mantenere il controllo del senato e quello dei governatorati: la maggioranza democratica al Congresso è esigua e, soprattutto, dilacerata dalle fazioni interne.
Poi, Mr Trump è riuscito ad imporre la nomina di due giudici, Sua Giustizia Gorsuch e Sua Giustizia Kavanaugh, spostando 5 a 4 gli equilibri repubblicani versus democratici.
È stata una svolta cruciale nei rapporti di forza.
Adesso Mr Trump prosegue a tagliare i fondi federali agli stati ed alle istituzioni governate dai liberal democratici: senza denaro pubblico sono destinate a soccombere.
Ci si pensi bene.
Quando un progetto levita da un preventivo di nove miliardi ad oltre novantotto la conta lunga sulle capacità gestionali dei democratici. Anche molte persone non si stupirebbero che tutto questo possa nascondere grossolane interferenze di interessi privati nella cosa pubblica.
The Trump administration said on Thursday it was formally cancelling $929 million in previously awarded funding for California’s high-speed rail program after rejecting an appeal by the state.
The U.S. railway regulator, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), said on Thursday it had canceled the funding awarded in a 2010 agreement after it said the state had “repeatedly failed to comply” and “failed to make reasonable progress on the project.”
In a statement, the FRA said it was still considering “all options” on seeking the return of $2.5 billion in federal funds the state has already received.
The decision is the latest salvo in an ongoing battle between the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump and California over a series of issues including immigration, vehicle emissions standards and internet policy.
The largest U.S. state has repeatedly sued the Trump administration and officials expect the state will sue over the rescinding of rail funding.
The Trump administration moved to end funding after California Governor Gavin Newsom said in February the state would scale back the planned $77.3 billion high-speed rail project after cost hikes, delays and management concerns, but would finish a smaller section.
In a statement on Thursday, Newsom called the action “illegal and a direct assault on California, our green infrastructure, and the thousands of Central Valley workers who are building this project.”
He added “the Trump Administration is trying to exact political retribution on our state,” and vowed to go to court to protect “California’s money, appropriated by Congress.”
The traffic-choked state had planned to build a 520-mile (837-km) system in the first phase that would allow trains to travel at up to 220 miles per hour (354 kph) from Los Angeles to San Francisco and begin full operations by 2033.
Newsom said in February the state would instead complete a 119-mile high-speed link between Merced and Bakersfield in the state’s Central Valley.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who overseas FRA, in February said California’s drastically scaled back rail project “is a classic example of bait and switch… We have a right to ask for that $2.5 billion back as well.”
The state said in March that ending funding “would cause massive disruption, dislocation, and waste, damaging the region and endangering the future of high-speed rail in California.”
The Obama administration awarded California $3.5 billion in 2010 and California voters in 2008 approved nearly $10 billion in bond proceeds.
In March 2018, the state forecast project costs had jumped $13 billion to $77 billion and warned costs could be as much as $98.1 billion.
– Comes amid escalating tension between state and administration
– Federal officials may also claw back $2.5 billion in funds
The Trump administration officially canceled $929 million in federal grants earmarked for California’s ambitious high-speed rail project, escalating tensions between the federal government and the most-populous U.S. state.
Federal Railroad Administrator Ronald Batory said in a letter Thursday to Brian Kelly, the chief executive officer of the state agency running the project, that California has failed to show progress and meet requirements under the agreements for the funds. Governor Gavin Newsom, through a spokesman, vowed a court fight.
“It is now clear that California has no foreseeable plans, nor the capability, to pursue that statewide HSR System as originally proposed,” Batory wrote.
Initially conceived as connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles with a high-speed train that would slash travel times and transform the state’s economy, the project has been beset by cost overruns and delays, causing its estimated price to balloon to $79 billion. Newsom, a Democrat who took office this year, said in February that the train as planned “would cost too much and take too long,” and he would focus on finishing roughly 170 miles of track already under construction in the Central Valley.
The announcement from Washington came the same day that a top California environmental regulator threatened to enact tougher pollution rules that could include a ban on vehicles that burn petroleum-based fuels in retaliation against a federal plan to relax vehicle emission standards. California’s leaders and Trump, who often criticizes the state’s policies in tweets, have fought over issues in court dozens of times.
“The Trump administration’s action is illegal and a direct assault on California, our green infrastructure, and the thousands of Central Valley workers who are building this project,” Nathan Click, a spokesman for Newsom, said by email. “Just as we have seen from the Trump administration’s attacks on our clean air standards, our immigrant communities and in countless other areas, the Trump administration is trying to exact political retribution on our state.”
Newsom’s comments on the train in February were initially interpreted as walking away from the project that has been in the works for more than a decade, and the Trump administration subsequently seized on them to announce its intent to cancel the grant and claw back dollars already spent. The Federal Railroad Administration “continues to consider all options” regarding the return of $2.5 billion in federal funds already awarded to the project, the agency said in a statement Thursday.
Kelly argued in a March letter to the federal administration that Newsom’s proposal wasn’t a “fundamental change” and that it’s a “pragmatic approach” to ultimately connect the line to Silicon Valley and southern California.