|7:30 PM EST||
Doug LaMalfa, R-CA 1st
Mr. LaMALFA. Certainly you can make an argument that the first places you should look are the urban areas where you can have the potential ridership. Here on the east coast, you have a lot of ridership between Washington, D.C., on up all the way to Boston. I don't know about the financial viability of that, but at least you can make a case there. Here, as was reported just a couple of years ago, they wanted to start in the Valley because, as was quoted, they had the least amount of resistance
to building the rail starting in the rural Valley as opposed to what it was going to take to run through the South Bay area, places like Palo Alto and others, that some people are feverishly opposed to what that would do and what that infrastructure tends to bring to high-value communities like that as well.
But, again, the promise lies in the Central Valley for us in what we do well already. My portion in northern Sacramento Valley, San Joaquin Valley, these are strong agricultural areas.
I am wondering--and maybe you can touch on this as well--we have had different ideas for water projects that for a fraction of the money we are talking about with the high-speed rail system, how far could we go to do one or two water storage projects and what would that mean for especially communities like you have down there that have seen a huge economic impact with the cutoff of water due to the delta smelt and those other problems? What would that mean in real jobs for the people that have
the skills and education level that likely aren't going to be working on a high-speed rail project, but have a strong background in agriculture? What do you see that doing to help your area?