This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.

I’m a pretty firm believer in alternative energy research, but it sure would be a shame if a mandate to use only renewables ends up derailing the entire California High-Speed Rail project.

Granted, a $40K study is miniscule in the context of a $40B project, and even a study doesn’t commit anyone to anything, so there’s little harm. The danger is that these projects get larded up with everyone else’s pet desires, and the whole thing collapses under its own weight.

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