Federal Government to Spend $1.5 Billion on Hawaii Rail Project Currently in Litigation

The feds don't ask why, they ask why not


will it include the cost of planting palm trees?

Fiscal cliff? What fiscal cliff? America's most senior senator, Daniel Inouye, just scored $1.5 billion for a high-speed rail project in his home state of Hawaii. He's happy the funding was secured before his retirement, because, he says, it's been talked about most of the time he's been in Congress. The project's billed to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution in Oahu, serious stuff for Washington. But it's not as simple as that. The project has faced opposition at home in Hawaii, with the Hawaii Supreme Court ruling the city of Oahu broke state laws in moving the project forward and a federal judge setting a hearing for December in another lawsuit, as reported by the Hawaii Reporter, which notes:

Cliff Slater, one of Hawaii's leading transportation experts and one of seven plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit against the rail project, said… "Senator Inouye's press release congratulated everyone involved in helping 'build a system that will alleviate traffic congestion, lessen our dependence on imported fossil fuels.'

"The only problem with those two elements of the statement is that neither one of them is true. The rail project would do little to relieve traffic congestion and rail will use twice as much energy per passenger mile than TheBus. As the City itself has written, "traffic congestion in the future with rail will be worse than it is today."

Preventing "deeply destructive" [non] cuts from happening's next on Washington's agenda.

NEXT: Rand Paul Considers Presidential Run

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  1. Someone put Magnum P.I. on the job!

  2. So I’ll be able to take a train to Hawaii now? That will be awesome!

    1. I was watching the Russian juniors play the all-star teams from the major junior leagues in Canada on TV and they kept referring to the event as “The Subway Super Series”. Genius that I am, it took me about a period and a half wondering who built a subway under the Bering Strait before I realized that it was referring to the sandwich artists.

  3. Intentions always trump results.

    1. The intention here is to employ unionized workers. That is the intended result. If some physical structures also arise, so be it.

  4. Senator Inouye’s press release congratulated everyone involved in helping ‘build a system that will alleviate traffic congestion, lessen our dependence on imported fossil fuels’

    pppt. How about = ‘build a system that will dump piles of cash immediately into constituent’s pockets AND create a long-term infrastructure needing to be maintained requiring enlargement of public bureaucracy: Win/Win’

  5. Why can’t they just content themselves with toy choo-choos?

  6. And I thought it was Ayn Rand followers who were supposed to be obsessed with trains?

    1. The Inouye Interhonolulu?

  7. On topic =


    Chevron Corp. asked New York’s ethics commission Tuesday to investigate state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, claiming he improperly pushed the energy giant to settle an $18 billion Ecuadorean court claim for environmental damage in the Amazon rainforest

    Another example of a public official pretending to ‘protect the environment’, but in fact using his (irresponsible) custodianship of a public pension fund as a tool for self-promotion and grandstanding…

  8. Oahu is an island, not a city. Honolulu is one of several cities (or towns) on the island of Oahu. And when you’re talking about an island, it’s ON, not IN.

    1. Technically, it is the “City and County of Honolulu” which encompasses all of Oahu (plus some small islands off the coast). It is a city and a county and an island.

      There are various places on it with names like Kailua or Kaimuki, but they don’t have their own government.

      You are right about the “on” part for local useage, though tourists generally use “in” — the “correctness” of such language depends on how many people use it. If everyone a hundred years from now used “in”, that would be the “correct” phrase.

      1. Pro… has it right.

        The Honolulu City Council is comprised of 9 members representing 9 districts which cover the entire island of Oahu. The Mayor of Honolulu is the mayor of the entire island of Oahu.

        On a different subject:
        “The project’s billed to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution in Oahu”

        For a somewhat large city, there is basically no air pollution on Oahu or even in the high density Honolulu/Waikiki area.

        The high density is on the South Shore. The trade winds blow 15mph from the NE 90% of the time. It’s like God is continuously sweeping the Island clean.

  9. It’s not really a transportation system so much as a unionized jobs program that may or may not move people at some point.

    For political reasons, the first leg of the system is supposed to run from a dirt field to a low density residential area.

    And this project has been the subject of a stream of essentially continuous lawsuits from the opponents from the get-go, as they try desperately to stop a project that has just barely more than half of Oahu’s voters supporting it.

    1. It transports money and votes.

  10. I guess it depends on what your definition is. No one who lives in Kailua, or Haleiwa, or Waipahu will EVER describe themselves as living in Honolulu. And the Postal Service addresses for towns outside of Honolulu use the name of the town (Aiea, Kailua, Haleiwa, whatever), not “Honolulu.”

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