In a strong show of opposition from federal and state legislators, letters were sent to the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Secretary Elain Chao requesting all federal government activity related to Texas Central Railroad (TCR) cease. Due to the recent announcement by TCR regarding their lack of financial resources, thirty Texas elected officials are requesting the immediate halt of the rule-making process currently being conducted by the Federal Rail Administration (FRA) so they might better focus their resources toward combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are in the midst of a public health crisis, and our taxpayer dollars should be focused on defeating our invisible enemy – and not on a private, Texas-based project,” said Congressman Kevin Brady. “Texas Central has shown the bleak reality of their financial situation, and the project remains unsustainable. I respectfully urge Secretary Chao to cease the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) regulatory and environmental review of this proposed high-speed rail, and allow our local and federal government to focus on protecting their citizens from COVID-19.”
“After reading the remarks made by Carlos Aguilar, President, and CEO of Texas Central Railroad (TCR), regarding their lack of financial capacity to move this project forward amid this COVID-19 pandemic, it has become apparent any further work conducted by a governmental agency would be a complete waste of taxpayer resources,” said Representative Ben Leman. “This development is why both Federal and State elected officials are requesting USDOT Secretary Elain Chao to cease all activity related to this project by the Federal Railroad Administration. The people of Texas have suffered from the consideration of this financial boondoggle for far too long. Not only does TCR lack financing for construction and operation, they now do not even have the financing to complete the planning phase as well. With all of the stresses our citizens are going through given the COVID-19 pandemic, not only is it entirely appropriate, but it is incumbent upon us to eliminate this ill-fated burden from their lives.”
“With our state in a challenging financial situation, Texans shouldn’t be asked to shoulder the risk of this high-speed rail proposal. That’s why we must request that Secretary Chao stop the Federal Railroad Administration’s review of this project. I have opposed this proposal for many years because it’s a fiscally dangerous plan and a big risk that our taxpayers can’t afford,” said Senator Lois Kolkhorst.