GrowSmart Maine signs on to President Obama’s High Speed Rail Budget

On February 9, 2011 GrowSmart Maine signed on to a letter, referenced below, endorsing President Obama's budget for High Speed Rail.

"On behalf of a diverse coalition of regional and national organizations and businesses, we are writing to urge you to support at least $3.5 billion in the FY 2011 budget for the construction of a national high-speed intercity rail network. This is the same amount spent annually on Airport Improvement Program grants."

What follows is the press release from US PIRG:


Obama Budget Seeks Major Boost in Transportation Investment


Request Is Consistent With New National Poll in Calling for More and Better Spending


WASHINGTON – Statement by U.S. PIRG Senior Tax and Budget Analyst Phineas Baxandall, on the Obama administration’s FY 2012 transportation budget proposal, which includes a major increase in transportation funding and an $8 billion annual investment in high-speed rail.


“The administration’s budget request proves that President Obama is serious about investing in the future, while bringing much-needed reform to our broken transportation system.”


“As a new national poll today shows, the Obama administration’s proposal is consistent with the desires of the American people. The Rockefeller poll shows that 80 percent of voters agree that federal funding to modernize and improve transportation will boost local economies and create millions of jobs, and view it as critical to keeping the United States as the world’s top economic superpower.


“Among other findings in the survey, a huge majority (80 percent) believes the country would benefit from an expanded and improved public transportation system. Strong majorities want to see transportation spending tied more closely to a national plan. The administration proposal would likewise more than double annual investment in public transportation and would more closely tie spending to safety and other national goals.


“Last week, U.S. PIRG delivered a letter signed by a diverse collection of almost 100 civic groups and local officials calling for $3.5 billion high-speed rail allocation for the remainder of fiscal year 2011, an amount matching the ramp up for high-speed rail in the administration’s budget.


“In an era of increased scrutiny into federal spending, the administration is right to propose targeted investments that will deliver jobs and make us more competitive around the globe.”


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US PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups, is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organization. For more information visit

For more on US PIRG’s 21st Century Transportation Campaign, click here

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