Thursday, January 19, 2012

Gov. Brown calls on California residents to OK HSR plan

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In his 2012 State of the State speech, California Governor Edmund Brown Jr. spoke of plans for a high-speed rail system, which would connect the Northern and Southern parts of the state.

In his speech he stated:

"As governor the last time, I signed legislation to study the concept. Now 30 years later, we are within weeks of a revised business plan that will enable us to begin initial construction before the year is out.

"President Obama strongly supports the project and has provided the majority of funds for this first phase. It is now your decision to evaluate the plan and decide what action to take. Without any hesitation, I urge your approval.

"If you believe that California will continue to grow, as I do, and that millions more people will be living in our state, this is a wise investment. Building new runways and expanding our airports and highways is the only alternative. That is not cheaper and will face even more political opposition.

"Critics of the high-speed rail project abound as they often do when something of this magnitude is proposed. During the 1930s, The Central Valley Water Project was called a "fantastic dream" that "will not work." The Master Plan for the Interstate Highway System in 1939 was derided as "new Deal jitterbug economics." In 1966, then Mayor Johnson of Berkeley called BART a "billion dollar potential fiasco." Similarly, the Panama Canal was for years thought to be impractical and Benjamin Disraeli himself said of the Suez Canal: "totally impossible to be carried out." The critics were wrong then and they're wrong now."

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