The Federal Railroad Administration said Thursday it would be withdrawing nearly $1 billion in federal money it had promised to California for the state’s high-speed rail project.
The administration argued that California failed to hold up its end of the deal, including complying with the terms of the grant and making reasonable progress. Additionally, the FRA said California “abandoned its original vision” for a train between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
“After careful consideration, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has terminated Cooperative Agreement No. FR-HSR-0118-12-01-01 (the FY10 Agreement) with the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA), and will deobligate the $928,620,000 in funding under that agreement,” read a statement announcing the FRA’s decision. “FRA finds that CHSRA has repeatedly failed to comply with the terms of the FY10 Agreement and has failed to make reasonable progress on the Project. Additionally, California has abandoned its original vision of a high-speed passenger rail service connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles, which was essential to its applications for FRA grant funding."
BREAKING: The Federal Railroad Administration has notified California its ENDING its high speed rail agreement, clawing back crucial $ for project pic.twitter.com/WPhn6hIZ0g— Ashley Zavala (@ZavalaA) May 16, 2019
The administration also said it is continuing to consider all options available for recovering $2.5 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds given to CHSRA.
In a statement, California Gov. Gavin Newsom called the move “illegal and a direct assault on California, our green infrastructure, and the thousands of Central Valley workers who are building this project.”
He added: “the Trump Administration is trying to exact political retribution on our state,” and vowed to go to court to protect “California’s money, appropriated by Congress.”
Governor Newsom's statement on today's decision by the federal government to deobligate nearly $1 billion in funding for high-speed rail. pic.twitter.com/N7sRj3Hlel— CA High-Speed Rail (@CaHSRA) May 16, 2019