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With the economy in recession, California’s plan to ask the federal government for billions of dollars to help build the nation’s first high-speed rail system might seem like wishful thinking rather than a feasible financial strategy.

But transportation officials say that California’s high-speed rail project seems to be on a fast track to a hefty federal contribution – perhaps as much as $15 billion to $20 billion.

This is the kind of stimulus needed in California and nation-wide: public works projects that dovetail with a clean energy economy. Unfortunately, I’d expect that the private funding portion will be the hardest amount to acquire in this economy, and with lower oil prices, it’d seem like a less likely investment even in a good economy.

Of course, in the short-run, I’d rather see a federal bailout for the State to stave off the immediate budgetary crisis than money now for a project that won’t start for several years, if such a choice must be made.

Published in: on December 26, 2008 at 10:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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