Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Arnold Reiterates Support for Prop 1A

NOTE: We've moved! Visit us at the California High Speed Rail Blog.

In remarks at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco last Friday Arnold Schwarzenegger again explained his support for Prop 1A, the $10 billion high speed and passenger rail bond. His speech focused on anti-global warming actions and the economic value of reducing carbon emissions - and why we must continue to do do this even during, especially during, a credit crisis.

There is far more economic opportunity in fighting global warming than economic risk....We shouldn't let the budget crisis hold back good things for the future. 20 years from now you can't look back and say "well they had a budget crisis so we didn't do it." Just because we had a problem with the budget does not mean that people should vote "no" on high speed rail. Our rail system in America is so old, we're driving the same speed as 100 years ago, the same system as 100 years ago. We should modernize, we should do what other countries do...We should start in this state, we should show leadership.


I'm not exactly his biggest fan, but this is the "good" Arnold Schwarzenegger - the one who gets the need to build for the future, who understands that the green economy is going to be at the center of California's future. He spoke strongly against drilling, and noted that oil prices only came down through demand destruction - using more public transportation is the only way to bring down gas prices. (Of course Arnold, does that mean you will stop cutting public transit budgets?!) He even spoke favorably, though cautiously, of Sen. Darrell Steinberg's SB 375 - "I'll look at it carefully" - and its smart growth goals.

You can see the video yourself here - scroll to 26:50 for the Prop 1A discussion. (Couldn't get the embed to work for some odd reason.)

Let's hope Arnold takes this message around the state and help get Prop 1A passed.

The Commonwealth Club is also hosting a Prop 1A debate this Friday between Quentin Kopp , chairman of the board of the California High Speed Rail Authority, and Jon Coupal, head of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. Former US Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta will moderate.

20 comments:

Spokker said...

Off-topic, but here's a fun link.

It's Google but with search limited to sites from 2001 and before.

It should give you an idea about what we thought of high speed rail almost a decade ago.

nikko pigman said...

Mineta moderating? How is that neutral?

Morris Brown said...

nikko pigman:

My comment also. Since Diridon gets a 6 figure salary from the Mineta Institue in San Jose and since Parsons Brinkerhoff is a major contributor to that institution, that is hardly an unbiased moderator.

While I'm here, I presume everybody noted the LA Times article about a real warchest that has been accumulated to promote the project.

If the voters of California can be bought off, then Prom 1A will pass.

Spokker said...

"If the voters of California can be bought off, then Prom 1A will pass."

Huh? I never got a check to vote yes on Prop 1A.

Anonymous said...

If I care about an issue, I give money. If an issue has a lot of money, then people must care.

Morris Brown said...

Robert thanks for the link to the video of the governor at the Commonwealth Club.

Since our knowledgeable Governor has spoken, would someone please tell me where the 300 MPH train system he mentions is running? I want to be educated.

Morris Brown said...

@ anonymous 8:44 PM

You write:

"If I care about an issue, I give money. If an issue has a lot of money, then people must care."

Look at who the people are:



– $20,000 from Alstom, a France-based firm that makes rail equipment.

– $25,000 from the California American Council of Engineering Companies.

– $25,000 from Systra, a New Jersey-based firm that consults on mass transit issues.

– $50,000 from a political fundraising committee called Members of the State Building Trades.

– $200,000 from the California Alliance for Jobs, a consortium of construction unions.

Spokker said...

"Since our knowledgeable Governor has spoken, would someone please tell me where the 300 MPH train system he mentions is running?"

Listen, we elected an actor to be our governor. We don't care if he knows anything about the train or anything else, we just want him to say he supports it.

Nice governor, nice governor.

Spokker said...

Alstom is a good group of guys.

nikko pigman said...

@morris

You're mistaken. Mineta's ideology has an anti-passenger rail mentality. As you know, he worked as Secretary of Transportation under our favorite president George W Bush. During that time, when the issue of passenger rail came up, he put put the smack-down and knocked it out. He was basically the mastermind of the Amtrak-killing efforts. Regardless of what you think of Amtrak, his record shows he is clearly anti-rail. I don't care if they named an institute after him, that doesn't change his policies.

Robert Cruickshank said...

omg. stop the presses. Companies and construction unions gave money to pass Prop 1A!!!1!

Is this the HSR deniers' Captain Renault moment?

Besides, the sums we're talking about are actually not that large. To run a media campaign for a statewide ballot prop you need several million dollars. Prop 1A backers don't have that.

And of course this site is 100% free - my time is donated, Blogger's hosting is free, and the massive Facebook groups - one of which is approaching 40,000 members - require no money at all to start.

Finally, it's significant that nobody has chosen to drop money on fighting this. All the airlines are sitting it out - even Southwest which spared little expense in killing HSR in Texas and Florida.

Cal said...

Morris..how are your old friends in the airlines doing? Parts sales?
look ..dont lie ..hows SWA doing?

Anonymous said...

AND its a hoiday...what are you doing??

IFlySouthewst??? said...

NO..Morris is the loud mouth for
SWA..not even a rich ninby park pig
does this much work

Rob Dawg said...

..hows SWA doing?

Ummm... profitable. Something HSR doesn't even dream of.

Rafael said...

@ morris brown -

that should have been 300 KPH I suppose, the top speed on most TGV lines in France.

Robert Cruickshank said...

rob, all HSR lines around the world are profitable "above the rail" - meaning they do not require operating subsidies. Get your facts straight.

As to Southwest, they've avoided the problems facing other carriers only through complex fuel hedges that locked in contracts when oil was around $55/bbl. Those expire around 2010 and if as expected the price of oil continues to rise, they will be in serious trouble.

Rob Dawg said...

robert cruickshank said...
rob, all HSR lines around the world are profitable "above the rail" - meaning they do not require operating subsidies. Get your facts straight.


It's one thing to change the meaning of my words and another to tell me to get my facts straight.

SWA is profitable and no HSR is profitable. Tossing in the canard of operating profits above the rail does not change the facts.

Anonymous said...

Then why do we subsidize air travel by giving billions to the airline industry and spending government money to invest in airports?

If air travel is as profitable as you say, I don't expect any of my tax dollars to 'pay' SWA or any other airline for their infrastructure or other costs.

njh said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deutsche_Bahn
says that DB has a net income of €1.35 billion, compared to LUV (southwest)'s net income of $645 million (http://www.southwest.com/about_swa/press/factsheet.html)

So the HSR operator DB makes 3 times as much net income as southwest airlines.