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Clean Transport Michigan Central Station in Detroit

Published on December 6th, 2010 | by Zachary Shahan

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Michigan Senate’s $160 Million High-Speed Rail Opportunity

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December 6th, 2010 by Zachary Shahan 

Michigan Central Station in Detroit

Here’s a good, simple question for you, “Would you pay $37 to receive $161?”

As the Michigan League of Conservation Voters (LCV) points out, “That’s the question facing Michigan, multiplied by a million, with respect to high-speed and commuter rail funding.”

Unfortunately, Tea Partiers and high-speed rail disinformers have been framing high-speed rail projects as a problem lately. While they do cost money, they are projected to create much more in most circumstances. Michigan has the opportunity to get a high-speed rail project rolling in its state now, but its state senators need to act soon to do so. A Michigan bill, House Bill 6484, needs to be voted on by the end of the year.

The Michigan LCV and others are making this a priority topic, for obvious reasons. High-speed rail is important for creating jobs, cutting global warming emissions, and improving social and economic connectivity in the region.

“While automobiles remain important, especially next-generation vehicles like the Chevy Volt, our state also needs to invest in high-speed and commuter rail for the promise it holds,” Lisa Wozniak, Michigan LCV’s executive director says. “That includes a lower carbon footprint for our state and faster commutes that can spur tourism and job growth across Michigan.”

House Bill 6484 was passed by the state’s representatives on November 10 and would put $100 million of state construction bonds towards a passenger rail project between Detroit and Chicago. This $100 million would include the $37 million that is required to unleash $161 million more in federal high-speed rail funding.

“This is a clear benefit for Michigan’s cities and towns,” said Tim Fischer, deputy policy director with the Michigan Environmental Council. “It will spur economic activity, improve the environment, establish affordable connections between communities and smooth the commutes between home and work.”

If you are in Michigan, you can help move this bill along by contacting your senators and Senate Majority Leader Bishop.

The Michigan LCV and Michigan Environmental Council are calling on residents to take action and make their voices heard…. To find your senator, see this link: senate.michigan.gov/SenatorInfo/find-your-senator.htm.

For more info, check out Michigan By Rail.

Photo Credit: michaelnpatterson via flickr (CC license)

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About the Author

spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as the director/chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of Solar Love, EV Obsession, Planetsave, or Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media. You can connect with Zach on any popular social networking site you like. Links to all of his main social media profiles are on ZacharyShahan.com.



  • Dari Dari Fox

    These anti rail people are unbelievable. I’m afraid the precident is heppning right now in Wisconsin. If the new governor is able to kill the train in Wisconsin (similar situation to Michigan) then it’s all over across the country. Now is the time to call your friends in Wisconsin and get this guy to change his mind!

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