This long piece from the Wall Street Journal is just too good of a history lesson to pass up and for the moment Allysia Finley's article is available outside the paywall. I'll start it on this post and add the rest as a comment
Environmentalism may be religion to some on the left, but its high priests aren't all pure and righteous. Consider the not-so-immaculate conception of California's bullet train.
Last week, the state's legislature authorized $4.7 billion in bonds to start construction on high-speed rail, which had been stalled in Sacramento for more than a decade due to logistical and political malfunctions. This train is now out of the station—though it's almost certain to break down soon.
But sell it they did. The rail authority promised voters that the train wouldn't require a subsidy and that the feds and private sector would pick up most of the $33 billion tab. Expecting a free ride, voters leapt on board and approved the initiative in November 2008. Not long afterward, the authority raised the price to $43 billion.
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