US: Trump Cancels $929 Million Grant for California Bullet Train - PressFrom - US
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USTrump Cancels $929 Million Grant for California Bullet Train

00:45  17 may  2019
00:45  17 may  2019 Source:   bloomberg.com

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The Trump administration also said it was terminating a $ 929 million federal grant to the California The billion Los Angeles-to-San Francisco bullet train , which has been a goal of California “The failed Fast Train project in California , where the cost overruns are becoming world record setting A spokesman for the agency said the reason for canceling the grant was clearly laid out in a letter from

The Trump administration said Tuesday that it plans to cancel $ 929 million awarded to California 's high-speed rail project and wants the state to return an The grant agreement between California and the federal government, signed in 2010, outlines several scenarios in which the federal government

Trump Cancels $929 Million Grant for California Bullet Train© Bloomberg A West Japan Railway Co. N700A Shinkansen bullet train travels through Shin-Kobe station in Kobe, Hyogo, Japan, on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017.

(Bloomberg) -- 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.

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The Trump administration said Tuesday that it plans to cancel $ 929 million awarded to California 's high-speed rail project and wants the state to return an The grant agreement between California and the federal government, signed in 2010, outlines several scenarios in which the federal government

The Trump administration is planning to cancel a $ 929 million federal grant for the project. " California has been forced to cancel the massive bullet train project after having spent and wasted many billions of dollars.

"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.

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"This is California 's money, and we are going to fight for it." It's the latest spat between the White House and California . Trump earlier in the 19,2019, plans to cancel $ 929 million for California 's bullet train project and said it wants the state to return .5 billion in federal funds previously granted

The Trump administration’s decision to cancel a $ 929 - million grant to California ’s troubled high-speed rail project and claw back .5 billion in funds already spent has thrust the federal government into uncharted legal territory and poses an existential threat to the state’s largest investment ever.

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"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.

--With assistance from Mark Niquette.

To contact the reporter on this story: Romy Varghese in San Francisco at [email protected]

To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Crombie at [email protected], Michael B. Marois, Boris Korby

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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