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Farmers in California will have an advocate as high-speed rail line moves forward

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A California congressman will provide oversight of the high-speed rail project and he said his concern circles around farmers' best interests.
A California congressman will provide oversight of the high-speed rail project and he said his concern circles around farmers' best interests.

A California congressman said he will be motivated by preserving the best interests of Golden State farmers as he watches over developments, costs and expenses pertaining to the Los Angeles-to-San Francisco high-speed rail system, according to a press release.

U.S. Representative Jeff Denham was granted the assignment by U.S. Representative Bill Shuster, who chairs the Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials subcommittee. Both representatives are Republicans; Shuster represents a Pennsylvania district.

"The project has lacked adequate cost controls, the transparency our Valley farmers deserve and the oversight our taxpayers demand," according to a statement from Denham's office. "If necessary, we will work to hold a hearing in California’s Central Valley."

The assignment came about via behind-the-scenes political negotiations and deal-making. Shuster tapped Denham and Denham retracted his amendment to restrict what he believes to be wasteful federal funding for California's high-speed rail project, which is expected to be operational by 2015.

"I am committed to reducing spending," according to Denham's statement. "I plan to provide aggressive oversight of California's high-speed rail project and with Rep. Shuster's commitment, I am confident we will do so."

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