Plan: the United States Federal Government should establish a National Infrastructure Bank for the purpose of financing a nationwide system of High Speed Rail through loans and bond programs




НазваPlan: the United States Federal Government should establish a National Infrastructure Bank for the purpose of financing a nationwide system of High Speed Rail through loans and bond programs
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2012 Core Files p. of 6

High Speed Rail Affirmative

High Speed Rail – 1AC




I. Inherency


the u.s. has virtually no high speed rail


The Worldwatch Institute November 2011

[http://www.worldwatch.org/system/files/High- Speed%20Rail%20Expands%20Everywhere%20(Except%20the%20U.S.).pdf, p.1]


Currently, high-speed rail in the United States currently consists of only route: Amtrak’s Acela Express runs on the Northeast Corridor from Boston to Washington, D.C. Unlike Asian or European systems, the Acela shares its tracks with conventional rail, and thus is limited to an average speed of 68 mph.


the status quo does not provide adequate funding certainty


Petra Todorovich, director America 2050, national urban planning organization, 2011

[https://www.lincolninst.edu/pubs/dl/1948_1268_High-Speed%20Rail%20PFR_Webster.pdf, October 2011, p. 55]


While passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009 marked a new period of federal funding for highspeed and passenger rail, the elimination of funds for the HSIPR Program in the FY 2011 budget underscores the need for a sustainable revenue source to ensure long-term success. Such a commitment will not be possible with unpredictable appropriations, which have ranged widely from $8 billion in 2009 to negative $400 million in 2011.





Plan: the United States Federal Government should establish a National Infrastructure Bank for the purpose of financing a nationwide system of High Speed Rail through loans and bond programs.





High Speed Rail – 1AC



II. Solvency.


a national infrastructure bank and existing federal loan program, plus build America bonds could attract private investors to hsr


Petra Todorovich, director America 2050, national urban planning organization, 2011

[https://www.lincolninst.edu/pubs/dl/1948_1268_High-Speed%20Rail%20PFR_Webster.pdf, October 2011, p. 56]


A national infrastructure bank could provide loans, grants, and credit assistance for transportation projects at a regional or national scale, covering large upfront costs while encouraging collaboration among state, local, and private investors. Two existing federal loan programs for transportation, TIFIA and RRIF, could be expanded for financing high-speed rail, and new programs such as Build America Bonds and other qualified tax credit bonds could attract a wide range of private investors.


a federal infrastructure bank could manage the hsr program


Petra Todorovich, director America 2050, national urban planning organization, 2011

[https://www.lincolninst.edu/pubs/dl/1948_1268_High-Speed%20Rail%20PFR_Webster.pdf, October 2011, p. 48]


High-speed rail in Europe has been funded and financed by a variety of sources, including national governments and EU structural funds. The European Investment Bank (EIB) provides subsidized loans with favorable interest rates and long repayment periods, as well as loan guarantees and direct recruitment of private lenders. While the United States currently does not have an equivalent to the EIB, President Obama has proposed a national infrastructure bank that could play a similar role in providing loans, grants, and credit assistance for transportation projects at a regional or national scale. The president also proposed capitalizing the bank with $30 billion in the FY 2012 federal budget.


build America bonds LOWER INFRASTRUCTURE COSTS


Center for American Progress February 2012

[Meeting the Infrastructure Imperative, (Donna Cooper), Doing what Works

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2012/02/pdf/infrastructure.pdf, p.56]


What’s more, Build America Bonds opened up our domestic infrastructure financing sector to more investors. The historic reliance on tax-exempt debt for infrastructure projects meant that only a small pool of individual investors, to whom a state income tax exemption was valuable, would purchase the bonds. Build America Bonds offered a uniform benefit to institutional investors whether they were in state or out of state, bringing new bond buyers into the infrastructure market. The benefit of a larger pool of bond buyers is simple supply and demand. The more purchasers there are, the lower the interest rate necessary to attract investors, driving down the overall cost of borrowing for infrastructure projects.


III. high speed rail in America can help fight global warming


there is no legitimate scientific dispute THAT THE EARTH IS WARMING.


Panel of National Academy of Sciences, 2011

[http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/2011/02/01/scientists-letter-to-congress-28jan2011/]


The debate about climate change has become increasingly ideological and partisan. But climate change is not the product of a belief system or ideology. Instead, it is based on scientific fact, and no amount of argument, coercion, or debate among talking heads in the media can alter the physics of climate change. Political philosophy has a legitimate role in policy debates, but not in the underlying climate science. There are no Democratic or Republican carbon dioxide molecules; they are all invisible and they all trap heat. The fruits of the scientific process are worthy of your trust.  This was perhaps best summed up in recent testimony before Congress by Dr. Peter Gleick, co-founder and director of the Pacific Institute and member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.  He testified that the scientific process “is inherently adversarial – scientists build reputations and gain recognition not only for supporting conventional wisdom, but even more so for demonstrating that the scientific consensus is wrong and that there is a better explanation. That’s what Galileo, Pasteur, Darwin, and Einstein did. But no one who argues against the science of climate change has ever provided an alternative scientific theory that adequately satisfies the observable evidence or conforms to our understanding of physics, chemistry, and climate dynamics.” What we know today about human-induced climate change is the result of painstaking research and analysis, some of it going back more than a century. Major international scientific organizations in disciplines ranging from geophysics to geology, atmospheric sciences to biology, and physics to human health – as well as every one of the leading national scientific academies worldwide – have concluded that human activity is changing the climate. This is not a “belief.” Instead, it is an objective evaluation of the scientific evidence. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) was created by Abraham Lincoln and chartered by Congress in 1863 for the express purpose of obtaining objective expert advice on a range of complex scientific and technological issues. Its international reputation for integrity is unparalleled. This spring, at the request of Congress, the NAS issued a series of comprehensive reports on climate change that were unambiguous. The NAS stated, “Climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities . . . and in many cases is already affecting a broad range of human and natural systems.”  This conclusion comes as no surprise to the overwhelming majority of working climate scientists.  Climate change deniers cloak themselves in scientific language, selectively critiquing aspects of mainstream climate science. Sometimes they present alternative hypotheses as an explanation of a particular point, as if the body of evidence were a house of cards standing or falling on one detail; but the edifice of climate science instead rests on a concrete foundation. As an open letter from 255 NAS members noted in the May 2010 Science magazine, no research results have produced any evidence that challenges the overall scientific understanding of what is happening to our planet’s climate and why. The assertions of climate deniers therefore should not be given scientific weight equal to the comprehensive, peer-reviewed research presented by the vast majority of climate scientists.

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