Rep. LaMalfa Questions High-Speed Rail Viability in Committee Hearing
SAN FRANCISCO – Representative Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) today participated in a field hearing of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee to examine the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s (CAHSRA) operations. After several major rewrites of its business plan and a doubling of the cost, the CAHSRA now intends to build a system linking San Jose and LA County, not the downtown SF-downtown LA system required by law or the Sacramento-SF-San Jose-Central Valley-LA-Orange County-San Diego system promised to voters.
“In light of the $55 billion funding shortfall, complete lack of private investment, altered system, and decades-long delays, the High-Speed Rail Authority is in breach of contract with California’s voters.” said LaMalfa. “The Governor has diverted state cap and trade funds to the project, yet this generated just $4.5 million so far this year – a rate which will fill the project’s $55 billion funding gap within about 6,000 years. It’s time that this project be set aside and so state and federal resources may be redirected toward real needs, like surface water storage and the state’s ongoing highway funding shortfall.”
The committee, led by Chairman Jeff Denham (R-CA), heavily scrutinized the CAHSRA’s failure to use federal grant funding within the time period required by grant guidelines. The Federal Railroad Administration recently provided the CAHSRA with an unprecedented waiver of the time limit, an admission that while the project has been described as “shovel-ready”, it has failed to make any meaningful progress in the six years since funds were awarded.
“We were told that this project was shovel-ready, yet six years later the Authority has changed its plan three times and built just a portion of a single viaduct,” LaMalfa added. “The promises the Authority made about costs, job creation, private investment and construction times have all been proven false. It’s time to pull the plug on a project that Californians don’t want, don’t need and can’t afford.”
Congressman Doug LaMalfa is a lifelong farmer representing California’s First Congressional District, including Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama Counties.