WORLD California sues Trump administration for canceling fund for high-speed rail

WORLD

California sues Trump administration for canceling fund for high-speed rail

Xinhua

09:16, May 22, 2019

LOS ANGELES, May 21 (Xinhua) -- The California state government Tuesday filed a lawsuit against the US federal government for canceling a nearly 1-billion-US-dollar fund contracted to support the state's high-speed rail project.

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This Dec. 6, 2017, file photo shows one of the elevated sections of the high-speed rail under construction in Fresno, Calif. (File photo: AP)

The lawsuit, filed with the federal court in San Francisco, attempted to recover money from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), which has announced that it would end its 928-million-US-dollar contract with California because the state "failed to make reasonable progress on the project."

However, the California government argued in the lawsuit that the FRA's action "to abruptly terminate" the 2010 agreement rather than work with the California High-Speed Rail Authority is "a sharp departure from ordinary agency practice."

The Golden State charged that the federal government's decision to ax the grant "was precipitated by President Trump's overt hostility to California, its challenge to his border wall initiatives, and what he called the 'green disaster' high-speed rail project."

The lawsuit noted that California Governor Gavin Newsom on Feb. 18 criticized Trump's effort to build more barriers at the Mexico border as a "manufactured crisis."

The next day, Trump on Twitter criticized California's high-speed rail plan, the lawsuit said.

The state also planned to file a request for a temporary restraining order, asking a judge to block the federal government from using the high-speed rail money for other purposes, according to the local Sacramento Bee newspaper.

In 2008, California voters approved nearly 10 billion dollars in bond money for the construction of the high-speed rail system linking Los Angeles and San Francisco, but the project has been plagued by delays and cost overruns.

Construction is underway on the first leg of the project, which has been cut down to a 119-mile section connecting Central Valley cities Merced and Bakersfield, and 6 billion US dollars have been spent on it.

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