Jerry Brown Announces Run for Fourth Term, Citing High Speed Rail

Feb 27th, 2014 | Posted by

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.

  1. Jerry
    Feb 27th, 2014 at 20:48
    #1

    Go Jerry!

    Zorro Reply:

    Agreed, I’ll vote for Him for a 4th time.

    therealist Reply:

    VOTE GAVIN !

    jimsf Reply:

    Gavin would not be an effective gov.

  2. John Nachtigall
    Feb 27th, 2014 at 21:56
    #2

    Fact check. If Acela is HSR rail then CA cant be the first to build HSR.

    Clem Reply:

    Nobody in Europe or Asia seriously believes that Acela is high-speed rail. Only we Americans suffer from that semantic delusion.

    jonathan Reply:

    And even in the USA, only Congress pretends that Acela is HSR…..

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    I was told by HSR supporters on this very board that HSR is defined as a train that hits 150 mph which Acela does. DOnt tell me they lied? Heavens!!!

    I feel dirty

    swing hanger Reply:

    It’s a very malleable definition, and I don’t know what determines the baseline (probably politics figures in it). Back when the Tokaido Shinkansen was opened in 1964, top speed was 130mph, undeniably high speed rail back then.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The UIC definition is 200 KPH on legacy ROW. It’s had that since the Metroliners were delivered. The UIC definition is 250 KPH on new ROW. They busy upgrading legacy ROW so Acela can do 257. Metroliners did test runs at 257 or higher, I’m not in the mood to go find references. The design speed for Metroliner IIs was 160MPH. Which never got built because the speed trials showed that the catenary would have mechanical problems with it and the power systems would have to be upgraded. There’s lots of that kind of ROW laying around in Pennsylvania and Maryland that is waiting for funding. The next generation of Acela should be capable of 300KPH or higher and will be able to do it on the sections they upgrade. At the rate California is going they will be shopping for the next generation of trains after the 300KPH ones while California is waiting for the lawsuits over the color of the logo to be settled.

    jonathan Reply:

    Adirondacker needs to do a litlte more than skimming hits from a search engine.

    In point of fact, the 200km/hr and 250 km/hr are from an EU Council ruling in *1996*. See:

    Council Directive 96/48/EC of 23 July 1996 on the interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system

    That’s a 1996 definition of “high-speed rail”. And even that was a follow-on to “communication” between the Commission and the Council about an interoperable European high-speed rail infrastructure in *1990*.

    The world has moved on a bit in in the intervening 20-odd years.

    Things have moved on since then;)

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    No I went to the UIC’s website and looked it up

    Cut and pasted from their page titled “General Definitions of highspeed” at

    http://www.uic.org/spip.php?article971

    1. Infrastructure

    a) The infrastructure of the trans-European High Speed system shall be that on the trans- European transport network identified in Article 129C of the Treaty:

    those built specially for High Speed travel,
    those specially upgraded for High Speed travel. They may include connecting lines, in particular junctions of new lines upgraded for High Speed with town centre stations located on them, on which speeds must take account of local conditions.

    b) High Speed lines shall comprise:

    Specially built High Speed lines equipped for speeds generally equal to or greater than 250 km/h,
    Specially upgraded High Speed lines equipped for speeds of the order of 200 km/h,
    Specially upgraded High Speed lines which have special features as a result of topographical, relief or town-planning constraints, on which the speed must be adapted to each case.

    You have a cite to what the world has moved onto Your Omniscience?

    jonathan Reply:

    Please re-read what I wrote,and try to read for comprehension.

    Those numbers are taken from Council Directive 96/48/EC of 23 July 1996. That’s a *fact*.
    Even the UIC website you cite says so.. See where it says:

    The highspeed definition of the European Union

    DIRECTIVE 96/48/EC APPENDIX 1

    It’s not a UIC definition: it’s a UIC web-page quoting an EU definition from *1996*. Just as I said.

    And here’s the Wikipedia article I mentioned:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-European_high-speed_rail_network

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Yeah? they use one that was agreed upon by the EU. So? The meter was defined by a different organization and they use that.

    Clem Reply:

    Yawn. You’re a New Yorker. Like I said:

    Nobody in Europe or Asia seriously believes that Acela is high-speed rail. Only we Americans suffer from that semantic delusion.

    Yes, even if it runs at 150 mph for a few minutes near one end of the corridor.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It runs at 135 for long stretches.

    jonathan Reply:

    Bullshit. The UIC *quotes* the EU Directive, and its 1996 deifnition. To quote from the *very top* page you love to cite, which is titled *Definiitions of HighSpeed:

    We have deliberately used the word “definition” in the plural because there is no single standard definition of high speed rail (nor even a standard usage of the term: sometimes it is called “high speed” and sometimes “very high speed”). The definitions vary according to the criteria used since high speed rail corresponds to a complex reality.

    And then they quote one of the several definitions, from the 1996 Directive.

    Are you adult enough to admit that you’re wrong??

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    So? they use meters which are defined by someone else in a really bizarre way for those of use who live in a Newtonian universe. If the UIC isn’t defining the standard who is and what is it?

    jonathan Reply:

    “Are you adult enough to admit that you’re wrong??”

    Clearly not. The document *you cited* says in its first there are *multiple definitions* of “higih speed” (rail). In its first paragraph, even.

    That document then cites a 1996 definition from the EU Council. The citation is clearly labelled.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Then whose definitions and where can we find them?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It is by UIC definition. There are long stretches where Acela does it and the Regionals just reach it. If California doesn’t want it’s 3 billion Amtrak could have crews out there making it good for new build speeds as fast as they could find the materials.

    swing hanger Reply:

    It looks like their definition(s) may leave some wiggle room:
    http://www.uic.org/spip.php?article971

    jonathan Reply:

    Not so much. Note that those standards are taken straight from Council Directive 96/48/EC of 23 July 1996. That Directive prescribes standards for interoperability of a trans-European high speed rail.

    And if you go read the Wikipedia page on “Trans-European high speed rail”, you will find it cites Directive 96/48/EC of 23 July 1996. According to Wikipedia, that mandates *minimum* standards for the listed 7 corridors.

    In other words, it’s how the EU told the UK to stop farting around with a “blended” system — and third-rail at that! — from the Channel Tunnel to London, with a 160 km/hr speed limit; and build a dedicated true high-speed line — HS1.

    But if Adirondacker wants to define Acela as “just-barely HSR in 1996″, well……. go right ahead.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It was HSR in 1969 by the definitions the UIC uses today.

    http://www.uic.org/spip.php?article971

    1. Infrastructure

    a) The infrastructure of the trans-European High Speed system shall be that on the trans- European transport network identified in Article 129C of the Treaty:

    those built specially for High Speed travel,
    those specially upgraded for High Speed travel. They may include connecting lines, in particular junctions of new lines upgraded for High Speed with town centre stations located on them, on which speeds must take account of local conditions.

    b) High Speed lines shall comprise:

    Specially built High Speed lines equipped for speeds generally equal to or greater than 250 km/h,
    Specially upgraded High Speed lines equipped for speeds of the order of 200 km/h,
    Specially upgraded High Speed lines which have special features as a result of topographical, relief or town-planning constraints, on which the speed must be adapted to each case.

  3. StevieB
    Feb 27th, 2014 at 22:00
    #3

    Gov. Jerry Brown wants long-term funding for California’s high-speed rail project to come from the state greenhouse gas reduction program.

    His plan would annually shift a third of all “cap-and-trade” revenue, generated through fees on polluters, to help build the first leg of the rail line…

    The proposal could provide billions of dollars for the bullet train over the next several years…

    “We believe it will be a growing source of revenue,” said H.D. Palmer, spokesman for Brown’s Department of Finance.

    His latest proposal would guarantee more money for the project each year until the first leg is completed.
    In addition, as the state repays $500 million it borrowed from the cap-and-trade fund over the next few years, $400 million would be made available for high-speed rail.

    therealist Reply:

    JUST RAISE THE TAXES !!

    Reedman Reply:

    Starting next year, everyone who drives a car becomes a “polluter” (i.e. fuel distributors will have to pay, and the price of gas will increase to cover the added tax/fee).

    Nathanael Reply:

    I won’t be dealing with that. I drive an electric car.

    Yes, everyone who burns fossil-fuel gasoline in a 20% efficient internal combustion engine is a polluter. Already.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    How long does it take to account for the embodied energy in your batteries? There’s a reason why they cost so much.

  4. Keith Saggers
    Feb 28th, 2014 at 08:03
    #4

    http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/news/n-america/single-view/view/route-selected-for-mexico-city-queretaro-high-speed-line.html

    Nathanael Reply:

    I don’t understand the legal system in Mexico, but the political system seems to be a lot healthier than it is in most of the US. (Drug wars aside, since those are the fault of the US.)

    Hopefully this will eventually translate into an improved economic system and quality of life in Mexico. Maybe it already has, given that net migration is has been in the direction from the US to Mexico for several years.

  5. Travis D
    Feb 28th, 2014 at 08:10
    #5

    I’m very glad to see this.

    Now if the schedule is to be kept we should start seeing construction in Fresno starting in the March – April timeframe.

  6. Thomas
    Feb 28th, 2014 at 08:26
    #6

    If Judge Kenny allows Part II of the Tos/Fukuda travel time/subsidies case to move forward and determines that the blended approach would not meet the 2:40 travel time, would the legislature have to vote on the original $98 billion plan, as well as the $2.7 billion in Prop 1A funds for the ICS again?

    Joe Reply:

    What if the Judge issues a finding of fact that contradicts HSR’s legally mandated independent peer review group’s conclusions.

    What remedy would he issue in this unlikely case? Are you proposing he blocks and invalidates the entire plan or simply request a change or clarify some table the plan.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    joe have you given up any pretense of them actually following the law at this point? Is that all gone?

    The peer review has no teeth whatsover. And furthermore, the peer group has specifically stated they will not comment on the legality of the plan so his ruling can not contradict them since they state specificaly they have no opinon on the legality.

    I would request a remedy that no funds may be spent on construction until such time as the plan is compliant with the law, i.e., the plan describes a system where the non-stop service times are below the mandated maximum. The ruling would have to describe the detailed definition of non-stop service times”

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    So they can’t build anything at all anywhere or spend any money on planning and engineering until they plan and engineer a system that satisfies you? Keebler elves aren’t very good at geotechnical analyses and the surveyors want to be paid in cash or it’s equivalents not pixie dust.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    i specifically said “no funds spent on construction”. Obviously they would have to continue to spend money on planning.

    Joe Reply:

    Criticism of the travel times is a technical criticism.

    The peer review group is responsible for the technical oversight of the project and they find no violations and travel time. They believe the travel times are achievable.

    The peer review group reports to the Legislature which is responsible for approving and funding the system.

    The governor and the board of the high-speed rail authority have authority to oversee the compliance of the project.

    Here are the responsible parties:
    The Legislature, The Governor, the high-speed rail board, the chief executive of high-speed rail project the project manager for high-speed rail AND the independent peer-reviewed review group which reports to the legislature.

    But there are no teeth to stop the high-speed rail project from breaking the law there’s no teeth they’re illegal and this is breaking the law but no one’s going to stop them.,,,,,,,,

    synonymouse Reply:

    The peer review group is a rubber stamp, window dressing.

    You need to go to court where lawyers can be truly adversial. Even if it is a puppet court with a guaranteed outcome.

    synonymouse Reply:

    adversarial

    agb5 Reply:

    Perhaps the authority can build a part of the system where there is no travel time requirement.

    According to prop 1A:
    The authority may request funding for capital costs, and the
    Legislature may appropriate funds … to be expended for any of the following high-speed
    train corridors:
    (D) Fresno to Bakersfield to Palmdale to Los Angeles Union Station.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    i am pretty sure that Fresno, Bakersfield, and Palmdale are between LA and SF so are included as part of that time requirement

    synonymouse Reply:

    The Tejon Ranch fanboys are claiming Palmdale must be on the LA-SF line no matter how long it takes.

    Maybe they are over 40 miles of tunnel by now. Hey base tunnel Palmdale to LAUS.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s not 40 miles, stop lying.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Depends on the length of this last tunnel alternative under the Angeles Forest – whether it is longer or shorter than the proposed Sand Canyon bores.

    Clem will provide us with a new accurate estimate but it will be close to 40.

    Hey it is only other peoples’ money. The masses will have to come up with the cash to build it and run it or it will be spun off. Cost plenty with Amalgamated chauffeurs. They will probably be getting 8 weeks of annual leave by then to start. I’ll be doggone and long gone.

    synonymouse Reply:

    But they will have to really finagle to get back to that champion BART to SFO bid with 6 hours of break and 2 hours of work.

    synonymouse Reply:

    ATU really set the featherbed benchmark high with that coup.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s not close to 40. It would have to be in tunnel the whole way from Palmdale to Sylmar.

    synonymouse Reply:

    The 40 mile figure is for the DogLeg with comparable starting and ending points for both Tehachapi and Tejon alignments.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    you have a cite for that other than your nether regions.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    It’s about 50% in tunnel from Palmdale to Burbank. This also means that to make the curve out of the tunnel to the LACMTA RoW they will have to come south past the airport and join the Ventura County line for a few miles to Burbank Junction, at least that was the proposal I saw. Of course we in Burbank are not going to let that happen, and probably the FAA won’t either. But needless to say contractors are being paid to draw these lines on maps, and when they are shot down they’ll happily draw more lines and be paid again. For the money they have spent just on this we could have realigned Burbank Junction and taken a couple of minutes out of every train that takes the VC line, saved some fuel, reduced emissions. But that’s Value for Money and Useful Transportation. Should not let that intrude into this argument.

    Clem Reply:

    We want a blog! We want a blog!

    Nathanael Reply:

    You in Burbank are going to let that happen. The frustration with NIMBYs is getting high in California, as you saw by the push to fix CEQA. NIMBY power is waning.

    We’ll see about the FAA.

    Clem Reply:

    It is indeed 40 route miles of tunnel (37 before NIMBY tunnels are added)

    Clem Reply:

    From Bakersfield to Sylmar, in case we’re not clear on that.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    over Tejon?

    Clem Reply:

    No, that’s 37 to 40 route miles of tunnel via Palmdale. Compare with 27 route miles of tunnel over Tejon with a max gradient of 3.5%. Less if they go up to 4% as for the latest German HSLs and as was planned for Express West to Las Vegas. Probably even less if they optimize the alignment beyond my amateurish first stab. I did a guest post about it, you ought to read it sometime.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I read and you never responded to my question(s) the last you blithely waved your hand and pointed me to it?

    synonymouse Reply:

    The differential in cost of construction, maintenance and operation is substantial and the travel times make or break the profitability. It is that simple and PB is being downright irresponsible in not impressing this reality on El Jefe.

    agb5 Reply:

    So what is the minimum legal travel time from Fresno to LAUS?

    synonymouse Reply:

    I do not believe that segment is specified.

    Keith Saggers Reply:

    @Thomas

    What if you are a stalking horse for the naysayers, always suggesting the worst possible outcome for unsheduled, unheard, imaginary future HSR court cases?

    Thomas Reply:

    Yes I am

  7. Derek
    Feb 28th, 2014 at 11:53
    #7

    Opinion: Yet Another Driver Subsidy: Inadequate Car Insurance Minimums
    By Shane Phillips, Planetizen, 2014-02-28

    In California, along with six other states, drivers’ insurance need only cover up to $15,000 in bodily harm or even death, and just $5,000 for property damage. These same minimum coverage standards have been in place for over 40 years, back when $15,000 was worth almost five times as much as it is today. When someone is hit by a driver with inadequate insurance, everyone pays.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Raise the minimums and poor people will consider using the bus instead. Can’t have that, people using buses, since that would weaken the argument that everyone loves driving.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    raise the minimum and even more people will drive without insurance.

    The rate is already 25% at the “artificially low” number already

    http://www.statisticbrain.com/uninsured-motorist-statistics/

    its a balance

    Derek Reply:

    Raise the premium and fewer people will drive. This will increase demand for alternatives, such as walking, biking, and mass transit. With more people taking mass transit, buses and trains will leave more frequently, allowing more people (including the uninsured) to give up their cars–it’s a virtuous cycle. And with more people walking and biking, the streets will be safer, and insurance premiums will fall, even with the higher coverage.

    So you see, wonderful things happen when you charge the true price of things.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Derek, your senario is debunked by the existing truth. You love economics, so use the existing facts.

    Current insurance costs X. Current rate of driving (illegally) without insurance is 25%.

    In a new system, with the “true” costs factored in the cost is 2X (as an example). New rate of driving without insurance is ???

    The answer is higher than 25%. People will just break the law at an even higher rate. Yes some will move to public transit, but given the state of public transit, the convienence of a car, etc. they will just continue to drive…as they do now. Those 25% without insurance drive, not take transit.

    Derek Reply:

    Current rate of driving (illegally) without insurance is 25%. In a new system, with the “true” costs factored in the cost is 2X (as an example). New rate of driving without insurance is ???

    With fewer people driving and therefore fewer motorists per patrol officer, those who continue driving will get pulled over more often and have their insurance inspected. So my answer is 25%.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    You love your supply demand curve. You know the answer is not 25%

    Nathanael Reply:

    The first answer here is enforcement. In most states there are very few uninsured drivers.

    The second answer probably relates to making sure illegal immigrants are allowed to get licenses and insurance — this is probably causing most of your problems in California. Of course, you should just legalize their immigration, but our demented federal government won’t do it.

    Reedman Reply:

    Be aware that the tort system of car insurance used in California is not universal. There are 12 states which use a “no fault” insurance model, where car insurance is cheaper because claims are settled between you and your insurance company, and not in the courts, and not between you and another driver’s insurance company. Florida and New York, for example, are no-fault states.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Pay for insurance at the pump

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    It’s difficult to rate risk at a gas pump.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    It can put money into a pool from which accident victims can be compensated. It’s a blunt instrument but better than nothing.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    subsidizing high risk drivers sounds like wonderful plan. Other states manage a much lower rate of uninsured drivers, California is doing it wrong.

    Judge Moonbox Reply:

    What you can do is collect 75% at the pump. That way, you could reduce the rate for safe drivers to a registration fee while collecting a substantial amount from the unsafe drivers. Jessica Tuchman Matthews had an op-ed column a couple of decades ago.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Who is going to gather information, analyze it and come up with a rating for you. The insurance companies do this so they can sell you insurance and make a profit. If they aren’t selling that kind of insurance anymore what incentive do they have to spend all that money?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    California has an enforcement problem.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    adirondacker…we finally hit something we agree on. CA has a big enforcement problem, did you see in the article that other states were in the single digits. They need to learn something from those states.

Comments are closed.