Letters to the Editor

Wednesday, Jan 04 2012 11:00 PM

Report stakes HSR in its heart

By The Bakersfield Californian

The California High-Speed Rail Peer Review Group has driven a stake through the heart of the HSR project.

Under the legislation, the Peer Review Group is established to review, analyze and comment on high-speed rail business plans. The group has just released an eight-page report after reviewing the draft 2012 HSR business plan, and concluded that the project, as presented, should not be funded by the Legislature. Here is the group's conclusion:

"We cannot overemphasize the fact that moving ahead on the HSR project without credible sources of adequate funding, without a definitive business model, without a strategy to maximize the independent utility and value to the State, and without the appropriate management resources, represents an immense financial risk on the part of the State of California.

"Until a final version of the 2010 Business Plan is received, we cannot make a final judgment on the Funding Plan. Therefore, pending review of the final Business Plan and absent a clearer picture of where future funding is going to come from, the Peer Review Group cannot at this time recommend that the Legislature approve the appropriation of bond proceeds for this project."

I am pleased to know that there is a check-and-balance system in Sacramento. California is not ready for this project, and the Legislature must cancel it and disband the High-Speed Rail Authority. We have already wasted almost a billion dollars on this boondoggle.

Girish Patel, M.D.