Gov. Brown's attempt to save the planet and his bullet train won't fly
By George Skelton
Los Angeles Times - August 18, 2016
The following is an excerpt:
Gov. Jerry Brown needs to decide: Which does he really want to save? Our planet Earth? Or his choo-choo?
He can’t handle both — at least not in the few days remaining before the Legislature wraps up its two-year session Aug. 31. And maybe never.
The dirty truth is that California’s governor, with the legislators’ permission, has been using his high-profile battle against global warming to generate money needed to keep alive the unpopular bullet train project.
But that scheme appears to be headed for a derailment. …
“Jerry Brown needs to wake up, drink a cup of coffee and get to work,” says one Democrat, echoing the thoughts of many Capitol insiders who don’t want to be publicly identified as critics of the governor.
“His office’s actions these past months have been a disaster when it comes to leadership on this issue.”
Publicly, Brown professes not to worry.
“We are going to extend our climate goals and cap-and-trade one way or another,” his top aide, Nancy McFadden, boldly proclaimed recently. “This year, next year or on the ballot in 2018.”
That produced Capitol snickers. …
Then next year — perhaps when Democrats recapture supermajority control of the Legislature after Donald Trump sours voters on Republicans — Brown can renegotiate another way to finance his bullet train.
Something less convoluted than cap-and-trade.
Politics, after all, is the art of the possible. That’s how it was defined by 19th century German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck.
Brown certainly understands this. He needs to have that coffee.