The latest wave of Republican governors saw them making what they felt were the right choices in rejecting federal funds for high-speed rail. With these refusals comes all kinds of justifications for their decisions. Some make sense on the surface such as having to fund the operation of the rail with state money after the rails are finished. With state governments running on fumes, it makes sense to not want to add more burden to the budgets. But when taking a look at the future, the refusal to introduce high speed rail into the states is a major mistake for everyone involved.
It is long proven that public works create jobs and good ones at that. The jobs will still be there after the initial construction has been completed as well. The ultimate benefit to building high speed rail corridors is to the environment. Getting cars off of the roadways means that there is less pollution overall. There is also less gasoline consumption, which has long reaching benefits to the environment through less pumping, shipping and refinement.
Take a look at how Governor Christie screwed things up for the area between New York City and New Jersey. High speed rail would have taken hundreds of cars off of the streets on a daily basis, lessening traffic jams and smoothing out the traffic issues that currently plague these two states. However, in his desire to pander to his party, he turned down the funds in a grandstanding gesture that will benefit no one in the long run.
High speed rail is a sure bet when it comes to reducing gridlock and pollution in our major population centers. The benefits far outweigh the initial nuisance of getting them constructed. But it would seem that governors seem to share the short attention span of the voters that put them into office. They think they are saving money now, when in reality they are costing their state untold dollars long after they are out of office.