Letter to the Editor

An expensive ‘want’

San Luis ObispoJuly 7, 2014 

Water is defined as “a colorless, odorless liquid essential to life.” In other words, it’s a basic need fundamental to our existence.

As California wrestles over its historic drought, it seems like our governor has his priorities mixed up. In arguing for placing a smaller-than-necessary bond issue on the November ballot to improve our water footing, Brown expressed his well-placed fears about increasing California’s bonded indebtedness. But why does he insist on pouring even more money into the woefully underfunded High Speed Rail project that requires voter approval of far pricier bonds for years to come?

Compared to the “need” for water, the high-speed rail is a wildly expensive “want.” Spending $70 billion to run high-speed trains down the throat of our nation’s most fertile agricultural valley makes neither economic nor environmental sense. After all, the California High Speed Rail Authority’s July 2014 meeting is totally consumed by 12 lawsuits filed to derail the project.

Rather than pursuing Jerry’s “Browndoggle,” it’s time the high-speed rail be placed back before the voters in November to repurpose its remaining funds towards resolving our most pressing priority: the very water we need to exist.

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