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Trump Administration Works Behind-The -Scenes To Sabotage Embattled California High-Speed Rail Plan

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The Trump administration has cut off all communication and cooperation with the California High-Speed Rail Authority — including freezing all environmental review, engineering and safety work dating back to last year. As Capital Public Radio’s Ben Adler reports, the state says that’s putting the already embattled project at risk of further delays and cost increases.

The Trump administration started working behind the scenes to derail the project long before the president criticized it following Governor Gavin Newsom’s State of the State address in February — and also, before the Federal Railroad Administration announced it would seek to formally end its work on the project and block nearly $1 billion in federal funding.

Frank: “I think it’s a significant issue and problem for the high-speed rail project.” (0:05)

UC Davis environmental law professor Richard Frank.

Frank: “I think it opens up potential future delays and it leaves the California High-Speed Rail Authority open to third-party claims.” (0:08)

The Authority had kept its criticism about the lack of cooperation muted in hopes that would change. But it now says the disengagement, quote: “represents an unprecedented federal government action to cripple the advancement of a project it has helped fund.” The F-R-A declined comment.

At the state Capitol, I’m Ben Adler.

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