Monday, November 8, 2010

WONK ROOM: New GOP Governors Kill $1.2 Billion In High-Speed Rail Jobs | ThinkProgress

I imagine a whole slew of new products that can leverage the burgeoning fungus-based, mycelium-derived plastics market which can impact every industry, particularly in manufacture of ultra-lightweight rail cars making not only rail travel much, much cheaper but also private car travel equally more efficient!

Let's restore wisdom, intelligence and love in our world.

Any corporations wishing for some insightful, out-of-box ideation should feel free to contact me or... simply stay tuned.

The TActivist

Republicans who were elected on Tuesday are beginning to deliver on their campaign promises to kill America’s future. Within hours of being elected, the incoming tea-party governors of Wisconsin and Ohio stood fast on pledges to kill $1.2 billion in funding for high-speed rail in their states. The funding, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will revert to the federal government for investment in other states — unless Republicans in Congress are able to kill that, too. Walker warned he would fight President Obama to keep the Milwaukee-Madison link killed “if he tries to force this down the throats of the taxpayers.” Kasich — who called the high-speed rail project linking Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati “one of the dumbest ideas” he’s ever heard — used his victory speech to announce, “That train is dead“:

Govs. elect John Kasich (R-OH) and Scott Walker (R-WI).

Scott Walker, the incoming governor of Wisconsin, for instance, vowed on Wednesday to carry out a campaign pledge to kill a proposed high-speed rail link between Milwaukee and Madison, part of a larger project to create a high-speed rail corridor across the upper Midwest, from Minneapolis to Chicago. The project was to be fully paid for with $810 million in federal stimulus funds. Mr. Walker said he wanted the money spent on roads, although under the terms of the grants, such a use of the funds is prohibited.

The newly elected Republican governor of Ohio, John Kasich, who ousted Ted Strickland, a Democrat, has also reiterated a campaign pledge to kill a $400 million stimulus-funded rail project in his state. “Passenger rail is not in Ohio’s future,” Mr. Kasich said at his first news conference after the election. “That train is dead.

In addition to their ideological opposition to creating new jobs through government investment, both Walker and Kasich question the reality of climate science, like other new Republican governors threatening clean energy projects across the nation.

One of the ways to take action is to tell your Members of Congress that you support an increase in high speed rail funding because it lowers the cost of travel (it is cheaper than driving or flying and far more productive). Plus, because it runs on electricity when done right, it improves our national economy (since we import oil and we don't import electricity). How can you tell your Members of Congress to increase the investment in high speed rail? Just go to

The debate is underway and the setbacks in WI and OH at the gubernatorial level, while unfortunate, are not the end of the debate. We must continue to explain the economic superiority of high speed rail over the medium- to long-term to justify the significant taxpayer investment.
Note that the Ohio funding was $25m for the final design of the 3C quickstart corridor and $375m for the build. "Quickstart" was the 110mph corridor with the 110mph level crossings and signaling to be added later, so starting at 79mph, which meant a 50mph transit speed. Since the design was approved and the deliverable on a design funding is a design, that's being spent now, and a design will likely be delivered by the end of the year. The Design, of course, then goes on the shelf, postponed a Governor that is not in the pockets of Wall Street and the American Petroleum Institute and economic conditions that makes state matching funds a possibility.

So Kasich sent 8,000 jobs to some other state to spend. Its appropriated money, and since there were over $50b in applications for the $8b in money, it won't be hard to find other states that can use the money.

Walker is pretending that Wisconsin can keep the money for highway projects ~ Kasich misled people the same way, but without telling the out and out lie that Walker did. But the money is going to go, and before 2014 there are going to be 110mph trains running between St. Louis and Chicago and 160mph trains running between Orlando and Tampa.

And "we were supposed to have good things, we were given money to have good things, but you said we couldn't have the good things" is going to be a platform to build on to make Kasich a one term governor.

(Edited by author 2 days ago)


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