Assemblyman Jim Nielsen Comments on High Speed Rail

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

SACRAMENTO (November 1, 2011) - Assemblyman Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) issued the following statement today following California High-Speed Rail Authority (HSRA) release of a new business plan.

"As I predicted last year, this project's price tag has reached an exorbitant amount of 98.5 billion dollars," said Nielsen. "California simply cannot afford this luxury. This plan is based on numerous assumptions which so far have been proven false judged by their own ever-changing estimates for this project."

The HSRA estimates capital costs at 65.4-74.5 billion dollars, an inflation adjusted amount of 98.5 billion dollars over 20 years (which is three times more than the amount voters were promised back in 2008). An inflation rate of 3-4%, which is not unreasonable given current and future monetary/fiscal policies, would drive this project to an inflation-adjusted cost of between 118-163 billion dollars.

"We need to stop pursuing projects and policies that California taxpayers simply cannot afford," said Nielsen. "This plan may sound good in theory but we should not make our kids and grandkids pay for our bad judgments such as building this costly, high-speed boondoggle. If we are to invest in our infrastructure we need to focus on our water and roads that will provide benefits for generations of Californians."