|7:28 PM EST||
Doug LaMalfa, R-CA 1st
Mr. LaMALFA. Certainly. Eminent domain is something that governments should use very reluctantly, very rarely, and only when there is no other option available. My farm has been affected by that as well with the large towers, the power lines that move basically from hydroelectric projects in the northeast part of the State down to the San Francisco Bay area. It is something that affects our fields, but it is part of the greater good. Our tractors have to drive around those now and figure
out how to still keep straight lines going through towers running at an angle, and you have ag aircraft that have to tangle with avoiding wires and flying over the towers at 200 feet and trying to drop seed or fertilizer, things like that. So we get some pretty strange streaks in our fields because of that infrastructure, but it is important. We want the folks in the Bay area to have that.
Eminent domain isn't always very fair. What I am seeing here is the promises, if there are any promises made by the high-speed rail authority, to truly keep people whole on this and give them options, and as you mentioned, the alignment changes frequently. We are not even sure if they have a full 520-mile alignment decided yet. They could have gone for a more low-impact route, perhaps putting it down the middle of Interstate 5 or adjacent to it, using parts of 99, perhaps.