High Speed Rail

California's High-Speed Rail Disaster Is a 'Shot Across the Bow for the Green New Deal'

"The real battle in the Democratic Party is between reality and fantasy," says Chapman University's Joel Kotkin.

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Former Gov. Jerry Brown was a steadfast supporter of the California's bullet-train boondoggle despite cost overruns, lawsuits, and a lack of private support. But in his first State of the State Address, current Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that he would scale back the project.

"He's spit in Jerry Brown's eye," says Joel Kotkin, a fellow in urban studies at Chapman University.

Gov. Newsom says he'll push forward with one portion of the high-speed rail line—the stretch running from Bakersfield to Merced, or span of about 175 miles. But neither city is a big job center, and it's not a heavily traveled route. "This is the ultimate train to nowhere," says Kotkin.

He says that backers of the Green New Deal, a plan that would crisscross the country with new bullet trains, should take notice. "The real battle in the Democratic Party is between reality and fantasy. And this was a big win for reality," says Kotkin.

"Is any other state going to be as stupid as we are?"

Produced by Paul Detrick.

Photo of Gavin Newsom; Credit: Mike Blake/REUTERS/Newscom
Photos of Jerry Brown in legislature; Credit: Hector Amezcua/MCT/Newscom
Photo of Jerry Brown; Credit: Fred Greaves/REUTERS/Newscom
Photo of Joel Kotkin; Credit: Nick Agro/ZUMA Press/Newscom
Photo of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Credit: G. Ronald Lopez/ZUMA Press/Newscom

Photo of trains; Credit: Chapman University urban studies fellow Joel Kotkin says Governor Gavin Newsom's scaling back of a high-speed rail project in California is a shot across the bow for the Green New Deal, which hopes to use high-speed trains to combat the effects of climate change.

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Former Gov. Jerry Brown was a steadfast supporter of the California's bullet-train boondoggle despite cost overruns, lawsuits, and a lack of private support. But in his first State of the State Address, current Gov. Gavin Newsom annoucned that he would scale back the project.

"He's spit in Jerry Brown's eye," says Joel Kotkin, a fellow in urban studies at Chapman University.

Gov. Newsom says he'll push forward with one portion of the high-speed rail line—the stretch running from Bakersfield to Merced, or span of about 175 miles. But neither city is a big job center, and it's not a heavily traveled route. "This is the ultimate train to nowhere," says Kotkin.

He says that backers of the Green New Deal, a plan that would criscross the country with new bullet trains, should take notice. "The real battle in the Democratic Party is between reality and fantasy. And this was a big win for reality," says Kotkin.

"Is any other state going to be as stupid as we are?"

Produced by Paul Detrick.

Photo of Gavin Newsom; Credit: Mike Blake/REUTERS/Newscom
Photos of Jerry Brown in legislature; Credit: Hector Amezcua/MCT/Newscom
Photo of Jerry Brown; Credit: Fred Greaves/REUTERS/Newscom
Photo of Joel Kotkin; Credit: Nick Agro/ZUMA Press/Newscom
Photo of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Credit: G. Ronald Lopez/ZUMA Press/Newscom
Photo of Trains; Credit: Imagine China/Newscom

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