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CA Senators, Governor Ask Obama to Fund High Speed Rail

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Last month, 23 Members of Congress voiced their support in a letter to the Department of Transportation for a high speed rail project in California to be funded through the federal Recovery Act. Today, U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein (both D-CA) and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) wrote to President Barack Obama to echo their support of this request, according to a press release from Senator Boxer.

In their letter to the President, Boxer, Feinstein and Schwarzenegger note that California "has been a leader and innovator in addressing environmental and transportation challenges on a national level," and remind Obama California has "completed design and planning for the nearly 800-mile system and made significant progress on the environmental review, making our state uniquely qualified to employ federal funding quickly."

One of the most powerful points of the letter, however, comes in terms many Californians understand all too well: Unemployment. Say the trio: "With unemployment in California reaching 12.5 percent - the highest unemployment rate in nearly 70 years - the impact of providing 130,000 construction-related jobs statewide cannot be understated."

California could hear word about the funding application as early as January. The high speed rail projects could be operational by 2018, and might see routes established from San Francisco to San Jose, Merced to Bakersfield and Los Angeles to Anaheim.