Brown Doubles Down on High Speed Rail

Facing strong headwinds from citizens, legislators, and analysts, Governor Jerry Brown threw his unequivocal support behind the state's proposed high speed rail project in his annual State of the State address.
January 20, 2012, 12pm PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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As Adam Nagourney writes, in urging lawmakers to release the $9 billion in state bonds needed to begin the project this year, despite a recently revised business plan raising the projected cost to $100 billion, Brown is putting his full political muscle into pushing the project forward. The question is whether his will is enough to counter determined opponents, and encourage increasingly skeptical supporters.

"Critics of the high-speed rail project abound, as they often do when something of this magnitude is proposed," he said in his speech, adding: "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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Published on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 in The New York Times
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