Proposed Legislation Tries to Stop Innovation, Kill Jobs in Texas.

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On February 21, several members of the Texas Legislature filed a slate of discriminatory bills, specifically targeting the Texas Bullet Train project. Neither the volume of bills nor the tactics were a surprise, but this action stands as a reminder that some lawmakers would be willing to use the power of the state government to single out and kill a free market project that will create tens of thousands of jobs and drive billions of dollars of investment into the Texas economy.

Contrary to the national focus on infrastructure projects that stand to create tens of thousands of jobs and benefit millions of people, it is ironic that the proposed legislation calls for more government regulation in trying to block a free-market led project that will create jobs and generate economic development.

The effort to take away a safe, reliable and productive transportation choice runs counter to the values and principles of so many Texans who are clamoring for it. Below, we address some of the issues raised as these bills were announced:

FACT:

Elevated Viaduct in Rural AreasA majority of the 240 miles will be elevated. Most will be on viaducts similar to highway overpasses. Elevated berms in some places also provide for large and conveniently located underpasses or overpasses.

CLAIM:

The Bullet Train is “threatening to physically divide the state of Texas.”

FACT:

The Texas Bullet Train’s unique approach with landowners goes beyond what is required by law and has already yielded great resultsIn addition, first-hand accounts from land-owners participating in the Land Option Program show that they were treated fairly throughout the process. Creating new discriminatory, anti-business bureaucracy in Texas is shortsighted and offers no meaningful protections to landowners.

CLAIM:

Good people are being “forced to give up their private property rights,” and this proposed “legislation will ensure that the property rights of our constituents are respected.”

FACT:

The recently published Reason Foundation report is deeply flawed and rife with uninformed biases. The report is based on the misuse of an outdated government report that explicitly warns against using it to analyze any single corridor. Further, the report’s author refused to review data provided by Texas Central

CLAIM:

The recent Reason Foundation report claims that the Texas Bullet Train will lose money.

FACT:

With no state or federal grants required to build the Texas Bullet Train, the notion of a “taxpayer bail out” is inconsistent with Texas’ history and values and already is impossible under state law.

CLAIM:

This legislation will “guarantee that state taxpayers won’t be asked to bail out this project when costs inevitably exceed projections and ridership fails to meet expectations.”

FACT:

Thousands of Texans and dozens of state and local organizations have expressed their strong support for the Texas Bullet Train. Third party polls consistently show strong support for the Bullet Train as an innovative choice for travel in Texas.

CLAIM:

“The opposition to this project has been loud and clear.”

FACT:

The Texas Bullet Train will be safe, fast, efficient and productive. It’s sophisticated use of best-practices, latest technologies and experience from around the world will make it the safest mode of transportation in the world.

CLAIM:

The Texas Bullet Train will not be prepared to protect its passengers from outside threats.

More Rumors Vs. Reality
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