Monday, June 18, 2007

Boozman against Amtrak

Arkansas Republican Rep. John Boozman has introduced a proposal that would essentially eliminate Amtrak’s preferential access rights to freight railroad lines unless the U.S. Secretary of Transportation first certifies that Amtrak would not cause increased highway congestion, fossil fuel usage, air pollution or greenhouse gas emissions.

As a Republican, it is to be expected that he would be completely in the bag to Wal Mart, Tyson, Hunt, and all the other greedy big money special interests, but this is an extraordinary proposal. Boozman is suggesting Amtrak causes pollution, which is the most outrageous illogical nonsense one could imagine. Out here, the small number of Amtrak trains and passengers don’t effect much of anything, and he obviously wants to keep it that way.

This would be one more roadblock to building a sensible transportation system, which is the last thing big highway hogs would ever want. This idea is so ridiculous, so totally preposterous, that it has no chance in the world. But we better play it safe. Contact your representative and let them know that as a matter of national security, America needs a balanced transportation system.

Till now, Boozman has appeared to be merely a benign self-serving conservative, now he seems to have gone down to irrelevant. Honestly, it is hard to imagine somebody so beholden to special interests that he can suggest such foolishness with a straight face.

(Broadcast June 19, 2007)

What if could be proven that Amtrak does cause increased highway congestion, fossil fuel usage, air pollution or greenhouse gas emissions. Should we not dump the little piddly train that sneaks across Arkansas in the gloom of night? After all, the sake of our planet is at stake here.

By the way, in your "balanced transportation system", would the train stop by my house on the way to Branson?
No, the trains would only stop at every corner between here and Branson.

And thanks for the very logical argument on pollution and highway congestion. It's a brilliant argument against a "balanced" transportation system. We might have learned the value of that from 9/11, but we didn't.

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