U.S. cancels $929 million in California high speed rail funds after appeal rejected




  • In US
  • 2019-05-16 20:46:18Z
  • By By David Shepardson
FILE PHOTO - California Governor Jerry Brown
FILE PHOTO - California Governor Jerry Brown's name and others are pictured on a railroad rail after a ceremony for the California High Speed Rail in Fresno, California January 6, 2015.  

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - 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.

(Reporting by David Shepardson, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien and Marguerita Choy)

COMMENTS

More Related News

U.S. President Trump does not want to do business with China
U.S. President Trump does not want to do business with China's Huawei
  • US
  • 2019-08-18 22:43:00Z

U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday said he did not want the United States to do business with China's Huawei even as the administration weighs whether to extend a grace period for the company. Reuters and other media outlets reported on Friday that the U.S. Commerce Department is expected to extend a reprieve given to Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] that permits the Chinese firm to buy supplies from U.S. companies so that it can service existing customers. The "temporary general license" will be extended for Huawei for 90 days, Reuters reported, citing two sources familiar with the situation.

'Strong economy through 2020': Trump advisers insist recession is not coming

* Peter Navarro and Larry Kudlow dispute market indicators * Tariffs are hurting China not US, trade aide insists Traders work after the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. Photograph: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty ImagesDonald Trump's chief trade advisers insisted on Sunday the US is not facing a recession which markets appear to fear and which could cost the president dearly at the polls next year.Speaking to ABC's This Week, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro defended US policy, predicted a "strong economy through 2020" and disputed the existence of a bond-market indicator of approaching recession that this week sent stocks into their largest one-day sell-off...

Trump wields sanctions hammer; experts wonder to what end
Trump wields sanctions hammer; experts wonder to what end

The Trump administration is aggressively pursuing economic sanctions as a primary foreign policy tool to an extent unseen in decades, or perhaps ever. Since taking office in January 2017, President Donald Trump has used an array of new and existing sanctions against Iran, North Korea and others. The

Shell workers in Pennsylvania say they were told to either attend a recent Trump event, or not get paid
Shell workers in Pennsylvania say they were told to either attend a recent Trump event, or not get paid

Workers at a new Shell plant in Pennsylvania were told they had to attend a speech by President Donald Trump in order to get paid.

Donald Trump is touting voter ID laws as an issue in the 2020 election. Here
Donald Trump is touting voter ID laws as an issue in the 2020 election. Here's why.

As Donald Trump ramps up his reelection for 2020 he is resurfacing a controversial gripe held over from 2016: That voter fraud cost him support.

Leave a Comment

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

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.