Infrastructure

The Enemies of American Infrastructure

The Enemies of American Infrastructure

Between 2008 and 2019, China opened up 33 high speed rail routes, connecting 39 major cities along four north-south and four east-west main lines. The 18,000 mile network runs trains at an average speed of around 200 miles per hour. By 2030, the Chinese expect to double the mileage of their high speed rail network by expanding...

By Edward Ring

California’s boondoggles threaten property owners and taxpayers

California’s boondoggles threaten property owners and taxpayers

One would hope that with the profound foolishness associated with California’s infamous High Speed Rail (HSR) project that our elected leadership would have learned a thing or two. But this is California. Because we do things bigger and better than anyone else, it’s apparent that one massive boondoggle isn’t enough — we need two. Let’s...

By Jon Coupal

How Much California Water Bond Money is for Storage?

How Much California Water Bond Money is for Storage?

Californians have approved two water bonds in recent years, with another facing voters this November. In 2014 voters approved Prop. 1, allocating $7.1 billion for water projects. This June, voters approved Prop. 68, allocating another $4.0 billion for water projects. And this November, voters are being asked to approve Prop. 3, allocating another $8.9 billion...

By Edward Ring

The perilous state of Santa Ana schools

The perilous state of Santa Ana schools

Class conflict: Santa Ana schools are spending more and more on fewer students. (U.S. Air Force file photo) School officials in California’s sixth-largest school district are working overtime to promote a massive $1.2 billion bond tentatively scheduled for a districtwide vote in November. Yet behind their chatter about improving Santa Ana Unified facilities is a...

By Kelly McGee

Water Rationing Laws Exemplify the Malthusian Mentality of California’s Legislators

Water Rationing Laws Exemplify the Malthusian Mentality of California’s Legislators

As reported in the Sacramento Bee and elsewhere, on May 31st Gov. Jerry Brown “signed a pair of bills Thursday to set permanent overall targets for indoor and outdoor water consumption.” After pressure from the Association of California Water Agencies and others, the final form of these bills, Assembly Bill 1668 by Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, D-Glendale,...

By Edward Ring

California’s Transportation Future, Part Two – The Hyperloop Option

California’s Transportation Future, Part Two – The Hyperloop Option

In July 2012, Elon Musk sat down for a “fireside chat” with Sara Lacy, founder of the PandoDaily website. In between discussions of Paypal, Tesla, and SpaceX, 43 minutes in, Musk unveiled his idea for the “Hyperloop,” a new transportation technology that “incorporates reduced-pressure tubes in which pressurized capsules ride on air bearings driven by...

By Edward Ring

How Can Local Officials Prepare for the Upcoming Janus vs AFSCME Ruling?

How Can Local Officials Prepare for the Upcoming Janus vs AFSCME Ruling?

“A public employer shall provide all public employees an orientation and shall permit the exclusive representative, if applicable, to participate.” – Excerpt from California State Assembly Bill AB 52, December 2016 In plain English, AB 52 requires every local government agency in California to bring union representatives into contact with every new hire, to “allow...

By Edward Ring

High-speed rail passenger service to Las Vegas: another desert mirage

High-speed rail passenger service to Las Vegas: another desert mirage

In 2014, Governor Jerry Brown infamously promoted California High-Speed Rail as the best way to travel between San Francisco and Los Angeles. To justify the estimated $68 billion price tag, the governor tried to play the funny guy, asserting that “old people who shouldn’t be driving … should be sitting in a nice train car...

By Kevin Dayton

Rapidly growing hyperloop industry offers alternative to California high-speed rail

Rapidly growing hyperloop industry offers alternative to California high-speed rail

Since Elon Musk introduced hyperloop in 2012, several startups have been formed to commercialize the technology. Hyperloop is a 21st century approach to intercity travel in which pods fly through sealed, low pressure tubes at speeds of up to 760mph. Although a large amount of hyperloop research is occurring in California, our state government is...

By Marc Joffe

The high-speed rail system has failed its promises

The high-speed rail system has failed its promises

It will soon be nine years since high-speed rail was passed in California. But Californians haven’t gotten the high-speed rail system they were promised. Instead, high-speed rail has taken a new form: it is more expensive and smaller in scope, and it will substantially increase traffic congestion in urban areas. High-speed rail will cost Californians...

By David Schwartzman

The horrible history of state contract awards

The horrible history of state contract awards

California’s state contract award system combines the worst of two worlds, delivering significantly higher infrastructure costs and longer construction time. Since government contracts are typically awarded on a lowest-cost basis, construction companies often engage in dodgy practices to win contracts. The history of Tutor Perini demonstrates why a company’s history should be taken into account...

By Nicholas Umashev

California fiscal outlook remains grim

California fiscal outlook remains grim

California’s state government collected $2.68 billion less in revenues than expected during the 2016-17 fiscal year. The bad news will likely worsen California’s position relative to other states:  After crunching 2015 data for fiscal conditions in all fifty states, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University ranks California 43rd. While we rank a relatively strong...

By David Schwartzman

UCI’s hyperloop team looks to propel transportation technology forward

UCI’s hyperloop team looks to propel transportation technology forward

While other students are out partying on a Friday night, a team of UC Irvine undergrads is installing new control systems and fine tuning software for their hyperloop pod. Their prototype is a step toward realizing Elon Musk’s vision of whisking passengers and cargo from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes. The team...

By Nicholas Umashev

The unelected bureaucracies that keep us stuck in traffic

The unelected bureaucracies that keep us stuck in traffic

Inadequate roads are leaving Californians stuck in traffic. According to a 2016 study by Inrix, a data company that specializes in traffic-related analytics, Los Angeles, California has the worst traffic in the United States. San Francisco takes the number three spot, and San Diego comes in number 14. In all, 17 California cities rank among...

By Jackie Lavalleye