Bullet train bad news: Funding fails

Posted by Debbie L. Sklar,: MyNewsLA – excerpt

By California High-Speed Rail Authority [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsThere’s bad news for Gov. Jerry Brown and other backers of the proposed California bullet train – a major money source expected to provide about $150 million only brought in $2.5 million.

The latest auction in California’s cap-and-trade market for greenhouse gases fell sharply below expectations, with buyers purchasing just 2 percent of the carbon credits whose sale funds some state programs — including the proposed high-speed bullet train intended to run from Anaheim to San Francisco.

The quarterly auction conducted May 18 will provide just $10 million for state programs, including $2.5 million for the bullet train, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday. The rail authority had been expecting about $150 million.

The reason is unclear, but state officials and outside experts pointed to several possible causes: less need for the credits, pending litigation that may overturn the entire system, and volatility spawned by speculators in a secondary trading market, according to the newspaper…

If the auction results reflect a long-term shift in greenhouse gas revenue, it would raise new concerns about the viability of building the bullet train, The Times reported… (more)

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