Jerry Brown Announces Run for Fourth Term, Citing High Speed Rail
California Governor Jerry Brown today announced he is running for a fourth term in office, and cited high speed rail as one of the reasons he wanted four more years:
California is now formally committed to obtaining at least one third of its electricity from renewable sources. We are also building the nation’s only high speed rail system and linking it closely with improved local and regional rails systems. Finally, California is strongly encouraging electric and other low emission vehicles, along with better land use to get people and jobs closer together. In all these endeavors, my goal is to decrease the use of fossil fuels while fostering vibrant communities and a sustainable environment.
When Brown gave his state of the state address last month some commented on his failure to mention HSR and tried to derive some sort of meaning from it. Brown might be using this as a message that he has no intention of giving up on that project, and in fact plans to use it as an argument for his re-election. With Republicans like Neel Kashkari running around opposing HSR, Brown is well aware of the political stakes. A cautious politician, Brown surely knows that his support of HSR won’t hurt him with voters and may well help him. In any case it suggests that the HSR project isn’t the political liability some want it to be.
Governor Brown has been the most important champion of high speed rail in California. It would be fitting if, in his fourth and surely final term as governor, he was able to ensure the project would indeed get built. He can leave office in 2018 with construction well under way and a plan in hand to get the bullet train to LA. It would be a fitting legacy for a governor who has always kept the state’s future sustainability in mind.