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Boy, the Republicans are really worked up over the high speed rail money in the jobs bill, given that billions appear headed toward construction of 300 mph magnetic levitation train service between Las Vegas and Disneyland and other Southern California destinations, a project long supported by Harry Reid. Pork, they shout, with great beating of chests and gnashing of teeth. The ever outspokenly ignorent William Kristol contributes this remark to the wingnut blather:

That's the kind of policymaking the new Obama administration has embraced in its signature legislative proposal: a congressional process as unseemly as ever; an emergency bill that barely addresses the emergency; a "stimulus" bill short on stimulus (is that magnetic-levitation rail line "shovel-ready"?).

Yes, Bill, the project is shovel ready.

Just about the last thing that happens for a giant public works program before those shovels actually dig in is the environmental impact study. You really can't do a proper study until you know in great detail how the project will be constructed and operated. According to the Desert Dispatch of Barstow, California, a community standing to gain a lot of jobs from the magnetic levitation train project, the plan Harry Reid favors is the closest to shovel ready of any intercity high speed transit proposal in the country:

For nearly two decades, the main plan in the works was the futuristic MagLev train that would zip riders between Sin City and the Magic Kingdom in well under two hours, hurtling across the wide-open desert at up to 300 mph.

Last summer, the project got funding of 45 million for the environmental impact study. That money was

the largest cash infusion in the project's nearly 20-year history. It will pay for environmental studies for the first leg of the project.

The money had been delayed by a drafting error in Congress' 2005 highway bill, which was corrected along with some other changes by the legislation signed Friday by Bush. The delay had allowed a competing and cheaper diesel-electric plan to emerge as an alternative, but with the money now freed up supporters hope to move forward with the MagLev plan.

As the Desert Dispatch noted a year ago:

Over the past several decades, a number of MagLev proposals in this country have never moved beyond the planning phase.

I remember one such failed effort that had its high water mark at the end of Ann Richards time as Texas Governor, then died aborning from the indifference of new Governor George W. Bush and vigorous, well-funded lobbying against it by Southwest Airlines. At the high point in 1992:

The biggest project in size can be found in Texas where the first all-new intercity railroad ever constructed in the United States exclusively for passenger service has an official green light.

The state's High Speed Rail Authority granted a 50-year franchise on Jan. 31 to the Texas High Speed Rail Corp., which will build high speed lines linking Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and Austin.

The project eventually went nowhere as Bush cronies and other pay-to-players coopted state largesse and infrastructure projects suffered.

But now, lo and behold, what do we have but change? How'd that happen? Now the federal government is jumping into highspeed, intercity, magnetic levitation train service by dramatically improving the California-Nevada MagLev project's federal funding to billions, up from tens of millions.

That this should be a bad idea, of course, is just one of many dishonest and deceptive Republican talking points. The truth is that the project will employ thousands of people for years starting almost immediately after it gets the full green light. The Anaheim-Las Vegas MagLev represents the best kind of shovel ready project, offering widespread impact, rapid implementation and serving newly emphasized policy interests in control of greenhouse gases, green technologies, transportation infrastructure improvements, science and technological innovation.

There is no downside to this project, so, of course, mindless Republican blatherers hate it.

And you know what, Mr. Kristol (I don't know you well enough to call you Bill, and don't want to), it took me a bit of time to put this essay together, but only about two minutes using The Google on the Internets to find the answer to your inexcusably ignorent question and argument. Yes sir, the project is shovel ready. And so is your dinosaur thinking.

Originally posted to LeftOfYou on Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 12:16 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip jar n/t (5+ / 0-)

    "I Think We're All Bozos on This Bus" Firesign Theatre 1971

    by LeftOfYou on Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 12:16:39 PM PST

  •  What's your source on shovel-ready (0+ / 0-)

    I believe I heard such project wouldn't even begin construction till 2011.

  •  I'm linking to (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pd, EricS, MTmofo, desertguy, soms

    yesterday's very knowledgeable diary re: the fantasy of that connection between CA and NV -- it ain't in the cards right now.
    You're from Ohio Stupid

    BruceMcF demonstrates that there is no Federally Designated corridor between those two points.  Please read that diary.

    You'll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race. - G.B. Shaw, "Misalliance"

    by gchaucer2 on Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 12:23:25 PM PST

    •  I was gonnalink to the same diary. thanks. n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      desertguy, gchaucer2

      "Go well through life"-Me (As far as I know)

      by MTmofo on Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 12:27:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry. Not relevant. (0+ / 0-)

      The significance of designation as a federal high speed rail corridor appears limited to whether federal funds become available under certain programs for purposes of improving grade crossings in areas crossed by higher speed passenger trains. In many of the corridors already designated, there are no high speed passenger trains, or any other kind of passenger train.

      The stimulus act provides the $8 billion for both "high speed rail corridors" and "intercity passenger rail service". Look here at page 237. I find nothing in the law to prevent application of the funds to the CA-NV project.

      "I Think We're All Bozos on This Bus" Firesign Theatre 1971

      by LeftOfYou on Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 01:14:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  CA Voters Have Approved Billions (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pd, desertguy

    for the first North South High Speed Train Links.  They have already spent millions, over years, getting ready.  Authority estimates are that the trains create 500,000 jobs (many in the tourism industry).

    Story on the CA HST Bond measure from Last Fall

    How do you know a Republican is lying? Ask one: If the Republicans can lower gas prices for 60 days before an election, why won't they do it all the time?

    by ca democrat on Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 12:31:12 PM PST

  •  This is the project (0+ / 0-)

    that minority leader Boehner( pronounced bonner) is using to confound the issue. It seems that Nancy Pelosi's mouse did not work for the repugs and now they are looking for another one of their fabrications. The link provided by one of the commenters makes more sense and is a beautiful campaign slogan when the time comes to bring down the bonnner (no pun intended).

  •  Maglev is very expensive (0+ / 0-)

    Shanghai is the only city I can think of that has a real Maglev train. Considering the cost and limited funding, I don't see why a Vegas to LA Maglev should come before HSR from LA to SF, Northeast corridor, or Midwest.

    •  No doubt. (0+ / 0-)

      But what did you pay for your first computer. What's the impact on the American economy of becoming a world leader in MagLev train technology? Achieving leadership in MagLev technology is not guaranteed to happen just because the government supports it, but it's guaranteed not to happen without government investment to create a large scale demonstration project.

      What more prominent demonstration could there be than one running largely along side the vehicle traffic on I-15, only going  5 - 6 times faster? Picture it. Everybody will want it all over the country and economies of scale will make the technology priced to sell in world markets, especially while the dollar remains weak. A dream, maybe, but things like this never happen without beginning with a dream.  

      "I Think We're All Bozos on This Bus" Firesign Theatre 1971

      by LeftOfYou on Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 02:06:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maglev is a failed technology (0+ / 0-)

        It's failed to get off the ground. The cost difference between traditional steel wheel HSR and maglev make maglev a non starter. Maglev's lower noise profile is wholly offset by its greater annoyance, similar to that of jet planes taking off from a runway.

        If you are looking at "shovel ready", California High Speed Rail has completed its EIR. I went to Nevada SST EIR hearings about four to five years ago and the EIR was never completed. Now, completing the EIR may be a good thing. But to say that it is "shovel ready" is ridiculous. "Shovel ready" means that design plans have been completed and the project can go out to bid, not that the EIR is incomplete.

  •  They blew it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaleA, enhydra lutris

    I have no problem with providing transit between LA and Las Vegas.  But the proposed project is ridiculous We need to do this traditionally and organically. we need stagecoaches drawn by horses, not metal beasts.

    Most Americans cannot afford a jaunt to Disneyland or Las Vegas.  But, by lying in wait along the stagecoach path, there will be ample opportunities to earn money the old-fashioned way.

    Is it not written "There's a lot goes on we don't get told."? (Lu Tze)

    by MakeChessNotWar on Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 01:43:04 PM PST

    •  With Canseco, Bonds and Rodriguez as Consultants (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MakeChessNotWar

      We can probably come up with horses that can pull those stages at 300 mph. Better living through chemistry.

      "I Think We're All Bozos on This Bus" Firesign Theatre 1971

      by LeftOfYou on Sun Feb 15, 2009 at 01:58:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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