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Aaron
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PostSubject: Well this is just depressing.   Sat Nov 13, 2010 2:50 pm

I've talked before about the need to reign in urban sprawl and our car dependant lifestyles. IMO, it will be necassary for a number of reasons but most of all "Peak Oil". This is not a step forward. Neutral

Quote :
Not So Fast: Future For High-Speed Rail Uncertain

November 12, 2010
High-speed rail may be among the casualties of last week's midterm elections.

The governors-elect of Wisconsin and Ohio say they will reject hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding intended to start up new high-speed passenger rail service in their states, even though the projects require their states to pay nothing upfront. Florida's governor-elect may do the same.

The moves to oppose the Obama administration's efforts to get high-speed trains whisking through some parts of the country appear to be the first of many fights between Democrats and newly elected Republicans who campaigned on promises to rein in spending.

And even states such as Illinois that want high-speed rail and tout its benefits could face a day of reckoning with the changing of the guard on Capitol Hill.

Rep. John Mica (R-FL), who is in line to be chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, says he wants to re-examine all $10 billion worth of high-speed-rail grants already awarded around the country.

High-Speed Rail Is 'Dead'

"That train is dead," announced Republican John Kasich at his first press conference as Ohio's governor-elect. "I said it during the campaign: It is dead. We are not gonna have it." Kasich has said he will reject $400 million in federal funds meant to establish passenger rail service from Cleveland to Columbus and Cincinnati.

In Florida, Republican Gov.-elect Rick Scott suggests he might not take $2 billion for high-speed rails linking Tampa to Orlando and Miami.

And Wisconsin's Republican Gov.-elect Scott Walker says he will turn down more than $800 million in federal funds for high-speed trains between Milwaukee and Madison.

"The bottom line is, right now, I've seen no scenario where the taxpayers of the state of Wisconsin aren't gonna be on the hook for millions of dollars," Walker says. "And to me, unless there was an ironclad agreement that showed me otherwise, I'm not interested, and I think the majority of voters made that very clear in the election."

Riding the wave of anti-big-government sentiment that swept them into office, Walker and other Republicans have been slamming the Obama administration's stimulus-funded high-speed-rail projects around the country as $10 billion in boondoggles that would benefit too few travelers.

"Maybe it's time for the administration to reconsider the billions of dollars spent on high-speed rail," Walker says, "and instead, put those funds into the use for roads and bridges, not only [in] Wisconsin, but across the country."

http://www.npr.org/2010/11/10/131223230/not-so-fast-future-for-high-speed-rail-uncertain

IMO this has less to do with opposition to government spending than it does to opposition to new public services. The happy motoring lifestyle is not going to last forever. The sooner we start the transition to the next paradigm the easier it will be for us.

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