Been a busy weekend, so I've just got a brief amount of time to point out Quentin Kopp's op-ed in today's Sac Bee. It addresses some of the financial risk questions the Sac Bee asked a few weeks back - clearly Kopp is trying to reassure the media opinion makers that the HSR project is on sound footing. Personally I think Kopp would do well to include the fact that the cost of doing nothing is not zero and that any true assessment of financial risk has to include a comparison of the cost of building HSR with the cost to the state's budget and economy of relying on air and road travel alone to get around our state.
But at least Kopp understands the importance of fuel prices. Here's how his op-ed began:
Gasoline costs almost $5 per gallon; airline fares increase while service declines; congestion chokes freeways; air quality worsens. What's missing? High-speed electrified 200-mph trains, and the time has never been more propitious to launch a travel option recognized and used worldwide for decades.
High-speed trains use one-third the energy of air travel and one-fifth the energy of automobile travel. High-speed trains will reduce our dependence on foreign oil by 22 million barrels a year.
Whereas HSR deniers have no solution at all to the problem. To them the answer is just grin and bear it - pay the high gas prices, because god forbid a few Peninsula property owners have to give up part of their backyard.