“Our commitment is to make positive environmental contributions from day one,” said Authority CEO Jeff Morales. “High-speed rail will transform the state’s transportation system while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing environmental benefits for years to come.”
The system is to run on 100% clean energy. “To estimate GHG emissions associated with the electricity purchased by the Authority for traction power, which is the power needed to propel the train along the rails, and facilities operations, the Authority assumed a mix of 20 percent solar, 30 percent wind, 45 percent geothermal, and 5 percent biogas (methane capture).” Thus the GHG emission reduction is calculated in terms of the number of passengers that choose to ride the high-speed rail system rather than use a car or airplane.
The CO2 produced during construction is to be offset by a tree planting program. Only recycled concrete and steel is to be used and contractors will be required to divert 75% of their non-hazardous waste from landfills.