Wednesday, February 28, 2007

John Thune's toy train (Updated and Bumped)

John Thune, along with Trent Lott, has been quietly arranging to make the largest government loan in history to a poorly run virtually bankrupt railroad in South Dakota which competes with two other, profitable railroads for the same customers. The loan is for $2.3 BILLION dollars. The loan payments alone will exceed the railroads current profit by a third (the railroad brings in $200 million a year, the payments will be $246 million a year starting in 6 years. Combine that with the $15 million payment on the CURRENT loan, and you end up with a net deficit of $61 million dollars per year.)

You may be asking WHY? Well Thune used to be a lobbyist in the employ of this railroad.

Now here is the good news, this has not been approved yet. Get on the horn you your elected officials and raise nine kinds of hell, we still have a chance to stop the insanity.

UPDATE:
Track the truth has an online petition to stop this.
UPDATE II:
SUCCESS! The feds have denied the loan.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Brad S said...

Normally, as a South Dakota native, I would get rather defensive about anyone who would suggest that my public good (which is your pork) be taken away.

However, I find it interesting that in the 10 years that this has been proposed, there has been no major engineering firm such as HDR and CarterBurgess doing preliminary engineering for DM&E. Usually, before you get the EIS approval for any rail/road project (such as the Dangertrain), you hire an HDR to do preliminary engineering for you.

Whatever we may think about the need for added Powder River basin rail capacity, the fact that this was not done shows the real (lack) of business acumen displayed by John Thune and Kevin Schieffer.

February 12, 2007 3:05 PM  

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