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Unformatted text preview: ation, and ending up just blocks from your destination. Imagine what a great
project that would be to rebuild America.
Now, all of you know this is not some fanciful, pie-in-the-sky vision of the future. It is now. It is
happening right now. It's been happening for decades. The problem is it's been happening
elsewhere, not here.
In France, high-speed rail has pulled regions from isolation, ignited growth, remade quiet towns into
thriving tourist destinations. In Spain, a high-speed line between Madrid and Seville is so successful
that more people travel between those cities by rail than by car and airplane combined. China, where
service began just two years ago, may have more miles of high -speed rail service than any other
country just five years from now. And Japan, the nation that unveiled the first high-speed rail system,
is already at work building the next: a line that will connect Tokyo with Osaka at speeds of over 300
miles per hour. So it's being done; it's just not being done here.
There's no reason why we can't do this. This is America. There's no reason why the future of travel
should lie somewhere else beyond our borders. Building a new system of high-speed rail in America
will be faster, cheaper and easier than building more freeways or adding to an already overburdened
aviation system –- and everybody stands to benefit.
The inclusion of high speed rail in the Recovery Act was one of many symbols of the new vision for
America and its economy that guided the plan. As the Vice President explained in his introduction,
joined by Transportation Secretary LaHood, in addition to putting Americans to work across the
country it went towards several the Recovery Act’s key goals:
And we're making a down payment today, a down payment on the economy for tomorrow, the
economy that's going to drive us in the 21st century in a way that the other -- the highway system
drove us in the mid-20th century. And I'm happy to be here. I'm more happy than you can imagine -(laughter) -- to talk about a commitment that, with the President's leadership, we're making to achieve
the goal through the development of high-speed rail projects that will extend eventually all across this
nation. And most of you know that not only means an awful lot to me, but I know a lot of you
personally in this audience over the years, I know it means equally as much to you. 30 | P a g e High Speed Rail Affirmative BDL With high-speed rail system, we're going to be able to pull people off the road, lowering our
dependence on foreign oil, lowering the bill for our gas in our gas tanks. We're going to loosen the
congestion that also has great impact on productivity, I might add, the people sitting at stop lights
right now in overcrowded streets and cities. We're also going to deal with the suffocation that's taking
place in our major metropolitan areas as a consequence of that congestion. And we're going to
significantly lessen the damage to our planet. This is a giant environment...
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- Spring '14