Construction work began in California on Tuesday for the nation’s first truly high-speed rail project, which will eventually connect San Francisco and Los Angeles. The promised travel time between the two cities is just three hours with top speeds up to 220 mph. (The current trip by Amtrak is 12 to 15 hours, not counting frequent delays.) This is the moment environmental advocates have been waiting for, right? Not so fast.
High-speed rail would have been great if it had been built back in the late 1970s, when then-California Gov. Jerry Brown first proposed it. On Monday, during his fourth inauguration ceremony, the modern Gov. Jerry Brown relished the moment as he announced bold new climate targets for California.