FROM Tom Umberg
Can California Afford to Build High-Speed Rail? California’s High Speed Rail project and the California High Speed Rail Peer Review Group were created by state voters in Proposition 1A. The Review Group is a high-powered panel that provides the legislature with progress reports on the multi-billion dollar system to link the state’s major cities. But its latest report is a dire warning: the project represents “an immense financial risk to California” because there are no “credible sources of adequate funding.” The Rail Authority says the report is flawed—and that just releasing it will “create a cloud” threatening the very support the Review Group finds lacking.
A 'Watershed Moment' for High-Speed Rail The ultimate cost of California's high-speed rail system has doubled from $43 billion to almost $100 billion, and the completion date has now been moved from 2020 to 2033. Those announcements came today from the High-Speed Rail Authority, which is taking its latest proposal to the state legislature under deadline pressure.
First Leg of High-Speed Rail to Connect Central Valley Dots Thanks to Wisconsin and Ohio refusing to take federal money , the first leg of California's High Speed Rail system will be 58 miles longer than originally planned. Instead of going just 65 miles, it will go all the way from from Shafter to Madera, at a total cost of $5.5 billion. We talk to Tom Umberg, Vice Chair of the High Speed Rail Authority, and skeptical State Senator Alan Lowenthal.
Should we 'hack the climate' to fight global warming? The Paris Agreements won't be enough to reverse global warming, whether President Trump pulls the US out or not. Is it time to try altering the atmosphere by what's called "geoengineering?" We hear about unintended consequences, international relations… and ethics.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Trump fires FBI Director James Comey Vice President Mike Pence took the Administration's lead today in explaining why the President fired the Head of the FBI, saying, "The president made the right decision at the right time." Trump's action is being compared to the so-called "Saturday Night Massacre" that led to President Richard Nixon's resignation in 1973.