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Monday, April 20, 2009

Obama's Foolish Rail Plan

The New York Times reports on President Obama's new plan to build a "high speed" rail system across the U.S. During his speech outlining the proposal, he said:
“What we need, then, is a smart transportation system equal to the needs of the 21st century, a system that reduces travel times and increases mobility, a system that reduces congestion and boosts productivity, a system that reduces destructive emissions and creates jobs.”
Too bad President Obama's plan will do practically none of those things.

Over at The Corner, Richard Nadler outlines 5 reasons President Obama's plan is a misguided one. Of interest to GreenWatch Readers:
3) If you (unlike this author) believe that greenhouses gases are a problem, you DON’T WANT a shared passenger/freight system. One of the reasons why Europe is doing such a wretched job of complying with Kyoto is that it does only 10% of its freight by rail, as opposed to 51% in the U.S. Europe moves more people by rail, and more freight (i.e., heavier stuff) on trucks. Our intermodal system of truck-to-rail container transfer helps account for the fact that freight emissions of greenhouse gases are 155 grams per ton mile in the U.S. compared to 193 grams per ton mile in Europe.
David Freddoso elaborates on NRO.

The Oregonian points out the flaws in Obama's plan from the other end of the political spectrum.

In the end, the trains he's proposing are not modern upgrades, but retreads of past train systems that have already failed. Which is funny, because some might argue that "retreads that have already failed" are the exact words they'd use to describe his entire economic plan.

1 comment:

  1. A government built and operated train system? One marvels at the audacity of thinking that AmTrac could be as efficiently run as BN.