Irony alert: Gov. Brown seeks environmental waivers for high speed rail project

A $100 billion boondoggle that's supposed to protect the environment needing environmental waivers to get built? No, really... The Brown administration is preparing a proposal to limit environmental challenges to California's high-speed rail project, heightening legal standards under which a court could block construction. The proposal could shield the $68 billion project from court-ordered injunctions that might otherwise be issued under the California Environmental Quality Act. Except in the most serious environmental cases, the proposed legislation would let construction proceed while the California High-Speed Rail Authority fixes any environmental flaws identified by a judge. The proposal is likely to be considered by the Legislature this month or next. Environmentalists expected to be briefed by administration officials on the plan next week. Dan Richard, chairman of the rail authority board, said the proposal consists of "pretty small, pretty technical" changes. It...(Read Full Post)