SACRAMENTO (CBS / AP) — California’s plan to build the nation’s first high-speed rail system has identified one alternative funding source if federal and private-sector money does not materialize: a new cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gas emissions.
Yet there are legal and logistical questions about whether those fees could be used to build the rail line. The state Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates the program could bring in $660 million to $3 billion in the first year.
The cap-and-trade plan requires companies to buy permits from the state to offset their greenhouse gas emissions.
High-speed rail board chairman Dan Richard said it is one dedicated pot of money officials can tap if they need to. Spokesman Lance Simmens said 2015 is the earliest the authority would consider asking for money from the cap-and-trade fund.
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