By LANCE WILLIAMS : The Bay Citizen – excerpt
Green groups critical of plan to skirt environmental provisions
Gov. Jerry Brown backed away from a fight with environmentalists yesterday, abandoning a plan to exempt the $68 billion California bullet train project from environmental laws.
Brown had hoped to fast-track construction of the controversial project by sidestepping key provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act.
But the idea had put him at odds with most of the state’s green groups…
But the move also might shore up legislative support for the project. For construction to begin, lawmakers soon must approve the sale of billions of dollars in state rail construction bonds…
Selling billions of dollars in bonds will increase the debt and further erode the state’s already bad credit rating. And who will buy them? There are already billions of dollars of unsold state bonds waiting for investors to snap them up. This seems like a bad time to finance a controversial project.