LaHood Defends HSR At House Transportation Committee Hearing

Speaking before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood defended the viability of the President's ambitious, national high-speed rail program.

Committee Chair John Mica has charged that "(t)he costs of high-speed rail investments, and lack of progress to date, suggest a need for serious reevaluation."

LaHood testified Dec. 6, the day the new Field Poll was released showing a remarkable drop in popularity of the $98.5 billion SF-LA high speed rail project with the state's residents.

"The federal government has obligated more than $4.2 billion toward high-speed rail efforts in California, according to the Federal Railroad Administration. The committee will host a future hearing that deals exclusively with the California high-speed rail efforts." California is the only remaining state sponsoring a true (220 mph) project - other projects are improving existing Amtrak lines.

Opponents do not appear to be entirely against HSR investment.

"They said the country would be better served by focusing on focusing on the busiest part of the line -- the Northeast Corridor -- than taking a scatter shot approach that includes projects like high-speed rail from Minneapolis to Duluth, Minn. for which there may not be much demand.

Democrats on the committee and LaHood disagreed with that sentiment, saying local leaders in those places are demanding high-speed rail. "We don't make this stuff up," LaHood said, waving a map of the high-speed rail corridors."

Full Story: LaHood Defends High-Speed Rail

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