The Audit of the High Speed Rail Authority Reveals the Project Must be Stopped

Morris Brown
Founder of DERAIL, a grassroots effort against the California high-speed rail Project

Chair Jim Frazier in the almost four hour November 29 Joint Audit committee hearing on High Speed Rail made headlines by asking for the firing of Authority Chair Dan Richard.

I see a whole lot of “grandstanding” by Frazier here.  He is attempting to make HSR Authority Dan Richard a scapegoat, while excusing himself, Chair Jim Beall, and other Legislators, as well as Gov. Brown, for not stopping the disastrous actions of the Authority. Frazier and many others knew full well, many of the Authority’s mistakes, and instead “kicked them down the road.”
Jim Frazier and Jim Beall have been the Chairs of the two transportation committees of the Legislature for several years; they could have prevented much of this fiasco, but they just turned their heads and allowed the Authority to go on its way, wasting billions of dollars and without any hope the project can ever become the High Speed Rail system promised to the voters.

This project is a classic boondoggle, which must be halted; yet even in the aftermath of the scathing ninety-three page State Auditor’s report, we see little indication the Legislature is willing to take the big step and cut off funding. The Legislature just seems again to be willing to let the Authority proceed to waste even more funds on a project which cannot deliver to the voters, the promised SF to Los Angeles High Speed Rail system.

Frazier now admits to the project costing not $77 to $98 billions, but is a $100 billion project. Frazier then released this:

“While I support the goal of the high-speed rail project in California, the audit makes it clear that we must find a better way to get there. Flawed decision making and poor contract management by the authority has led to billions in cost overruns. Delays in construction continue to cost California taxpayers billions. This is simply unsustainable. I look forward to continuing my work on oversight in the upcoming legislative session.”

There needs to be much more than oversight; what is needed is halting the project and the sooner the better.

Just how much longer are Frazier, Beall and others going to wait before funding is halted for the project? Will Governor-elect Newsom put a stop to this madness?

 

 

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