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High Speed Rail Moving Ahead Despite Criticisms



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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Republican Congressman Jeff Denham says California's $68-billion high speed rail system is looking for too much money from the federal government to help keep it on track.

DENHAM: "We have no ability to come up with those funds, and that would be pulling money from other areas if we did."

But Authority CEO Jeff Morales says right now the project has enough funding to build the first 130 miles of the system through the Central Valley.  

MORALES: "We're continuing to work with the administration and with Congress on the long term picture but for the next few years we don't have requests pending before the federal government."

He says he expects shovels in the ground next summer.
 
MORALES: "There's never a time when everyone says, 'hey, let's embark on a massive spending program and investment program and there aren't concerns about it.' This is a time we can make investments that provide near term benefits in the form of job creation and make California more competitive over the long run."
 
The High Speed Rail Authority is in the process of acquiring right of ways and land for the first construction phase of the project.
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