CEI Daily - High-Speed Rail, Snow Cleanup, and Responsible Drinking


High-Speed Rail


Funds intended for Ohio and Wisconsin's high-speed rail lines have been re-allocated to fund projects in California and Florida.


Policy Analyst Marc Scribner explains the difference between the Midwest projects and the new projects.


"Unlike the scuttled Ohio and Wisconsin corridors, the proposed high-speed rail projects in California and Florida actually meet the technical definitions of 'high-speed rail.' But it should not be surprising that these coastal-state corridors are far more expensive than the “medium-speed rail” projects that were proposed in the Midwest."




Snow Cleanup


Democratic politicians are less than thrilled with public employee unions these days, thanks to unions' expensive pension programs. 


Policy Analyst Ivan Osorio points out that New York unions have been stalling snow cleanup efforts--which is increasing tensions between politicians and union leaders.


"As private businesses retrench or cut back hours, governments must carry on, even as tax revenues fall, until they reach a crisis stage at which draconian measures become necessary. Yet even then, government employee unions are wont to push back against any curbs in compensation, as the New York snow cleanup slowdown painfully shows. Thus, elected officials have no option but to face government unions head on."


Responsible Drinking


Proponents of alcohol labeling mandates seem to hold that customers don't have the ability to monitor their own drinking.


Director of Risk and Environmental Policy Angela Logomasini says that there's actually a growing market of products which help people monitor themselves.


"One option for those seeking to monitor their own alcohol-blood levels is a portable, personal breathalyzer device! According to a story in the Buffalo News, this product — called the BAQ Tracker — costs $249 and “provides an accurate and reliable measurement of breath-alcohol concentration.”  For those with a more modest budget, the company provides a blackberry app for just $4.99. It calculates likely blood-alcohol based on input from the user related to weight, height, age, along with the amount and time over which alcohol is consumed."