That California has become a state governed by lunatics is becoming more apparent with every passing day. The latest case in point is a ruling by the California State Supreme Court that the infamous, high-speed rail project has to adhere to the state’s very draconian environmental laws. The decision, unless it is overturned by the federal courts, means that the project can be mired in law suits for years, perhaps decades.

The California high-speed rail project as a $64 billion boondoggle

The irony surrounding the ruling is that the California high-speed rail project is a boondoggle that is estimated to cost $64 billion, likely a low ball figure.

The idea is to provide surface transportation service between Los Angeles and San Francisco as an alternative to driving or flying. The idea has a number of practical problems, not the least of which that operating the line is likely to be expensive and will require generous subsidies.

The high-speed rail project is also based on obsolete technology. Elon Musk has developed a system called a Hyperloop that he says will cost a fraction of the high-speed rail line to link Los Angeles and San Francisco and would reduce the travel time between the two cities to about half an hour.

The California environmental lobby and its effect on the state’s economy

The effect of California’s environmental culture on that state’s economy has been well covered, Essentially the environmental lobby, for all intents and purposes, does not want anything built inside California and would prefer that a lot of business that is going on to stop.

Environmentalists have negatively impacted everything from infrastructure, which is in a severe state of disrepair, to agriculture, which is being turned into a dust bowl in some areas through lack of irrigated water which is being flushed into the ocean,

The bitter irony is, the stopping of the high-speed rail system through environmental lawsuits could be seen as a good thing.

Unfortunately, money that would be wasted putting down tracks would instead by squandered on high priced lawyers on both sides of the argument.

Could reform be accomplished to end the environmental tyranny?

The United States government could reform environmental laws and make it stick in California using the supremacy clause.

Some may object on the basis of federalism concerns. Indeed, many on the left have discovered the virtue of states’ rights because of efforts in Washington to rein in mad cap environmentalism. However, unless the people of California decide to elect sane people to govern them, such a reform may be necessary to avoid an economic collapse and the mother of all bailouts.