Transportation


See here.

See here.  Given that most GHG emissions from individuals come from driving, for carbon tax proponents a gas tax or driving tax would make the most sense (though potentially politically toxic).  If you’re interested in learning more on this type of idea, the book “Heat” is a good read.

I earlier posted about the loss of high-speed rail funds in Ohio and Wisconsin to other states.  (At least the funds are still going to rail rather than roads.)  This post’s title quote is the title this press release from Milwaukee County Clerk Joseph Czarnezki criticizing Wisconsin’s Governor-elect for stopping high-speed rail in Wisconsin.  (It seems I agree a lot more with my father as an adult than I suspect I did as a child.)  The money quote in the press release:

“Governor-Elect Walker has kicked Wisconsin taxpayers in the caboose by sending our hard earned tax dollars to other states.”

UPDATE: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a long article detailing the redistribution of the rail funds.  (At least some of the money is coming to Vermont…I vote for high speed rail from Montpelier to NYC, or any rail from Vermont to Boston.)

UPDATE 2: Train-maker to pull out of Milwaukee.

Mere moments ago, I posted about the absurd railroad politics in Wisconsin and Ohio.  Now this: “Sources say feds to pull, redistribute state’s high-speed rail money.”  The money quote:

“Congressional sources say the Obama administration is taking $1.2 billion in high-speed rail money away from Ohio and Wisconsin and awarding it to projects in other states.  People familiar with the grants say the Department of Transportation will announce Thursday that California, Illinois and New York, among other states, will get a share of the funds.  Republican governors opposed to high-speed rail were elected in Ohio and Wisconsin in November. They have promised to kill projects in their states.”

That’s right folks, the states will now have to pay back the feds, will lose high-speed rail infrastructure, and will lose the jobs created by construction, maintenance, and ridership, and might lose the manufacturing jobs for making the trains.

It seems that Ohio (see here) is experiencing the same type of railroad politics as Wisconsin (see here and here).  New York, Illinois, and Minnesota seem more than happy to take the train funds and the accompanying economic growth if WI and OH don’t want them.

Even though the state’s operating expenses will be relatively low, the Governor-elect still wants to kill the project.  See here.

I’ve written before about the high speed rail saga in WI.  Now this: LaHood says Wisconsin high-speed rail cash could go to N.C., elsewhere.

I’ve been posting a lot lately about the high-speed rail saga in Wisconsin.  See here.  Well, now this:  Talgo, the train maker, might move the train-making plant to Illinois if WI Gov.-elect Walker kills the train project.

Three days ago, I wrote:

For many years, no trains.  Then progress and trains.  I was happy.  Then they wanted to stop the trains.  I was annoyed.  Then no trains.    I was in disbelief.

Now trains AND no trains.  Now, I’m just confused.  The Governor-elect of Wisconsin is against high speed train service, but wants the train maker to keep making trains in Wisconsin for said train service.  You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

Now this:  Canceling rail line will cost $100 million, cut 400 jobs.

This is all getting very silly.  The state will receive $810 in federal money to create high-speed rail, and the state only has to pay the $7.5 million a year operating costs.  And “federal aid could cover as much as 90% of that amount, as it does with Amtrak’s existing Milwaukee-to-Chicago Hiawatha line.”  Given the job creation, the cost to stop the rail line compared to the operating costs, and the need for alternatives to motor vehicles, this project should proceed.  That said, most of the $100 million is already sunk, and I’m unclear as to what the state has already paid for or might have to reimburse the federal government for.

UPDATE: Despite GOP hopes to keep the $ in WI if not used for rail, there is “little hope for using train money for roads.”

UPDATE 2: In this Greenwire article (subscription required), the Obama Administration makes clear the money will go to other states if not used for high speed rail, and NY has already requested the money.

For many years, no trains.  Then progress and trains.  I was happy.  Then they wanted to stop the trains.  I was annoyed.  Then no trains.    I was in disbelief.

Now trains AND no trains.  Now, I’m just confused.  The Governor-elect of Wisconsin is against high speed train service, but wants the train maker to keep making trains in Wisconsin for said train service.  You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

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