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BLET backs high-speed rail funding provisions in California state budget

CLEVELAND, January 13 — The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), a strong supporter of the California high-speed rail initiative, is applauding Governor Jerry Brown’s recent budget proposal to help fund bullet train construction with $300 million in revenue from the state’s cap-and-trade program.

"High-speed rail is an integral part of California’s transportation future," said Dennis R. Pierce, National President of the BLET and President of the Teamsters Rail Conference. "Without it, California’s overcrowded highways cannot meet the future transportation needs of the state’s ever-growing population. Building high-speed rail and its successful operation will boost the state’s economy and will provide much needed middle class jobs for years to come."

Cap-and-trade is a program used to control pollution by providing economic incentives for reducing greenhouse gases, emissions and other pollutants. Using cap-and-trade funds to construct high-speed rail makes sense; in addition to improving travel options and providing good paying jobs, the California high-speed rail initiative will be an effective way to reduce pollution and carbon emission levels in the state. The governor’s budget plan would also provide investment in rail modernization, including upgrades to urban, commuter and intercity rail systems.

The endorsement of the Brown budget proposal is the latest in the union’s efforts to help make high-speed rail a reality and to bring new rail transportation jobs to California.

The BLET represents over 52,000 professional locomotive engineers and trainmen throughout the United States.

Monday, January 13, 2014
bentley@ble-t.org

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