It is such a great disappointment to me to hear this. What the United States needs is an economical method to get people from place to place. This includes work, school, and business trips. While lowering gas prices is one way of doing this, it is not the only solution. In fact, it is the worst solution.
Historically, the US has enjoyed gas prices less than half the price of the Europeans and Asians. While we can only speculate that this is correlated to our economic progress we can be sure that the giant SUV's and the poor average fuel economy of our vehicles are directly related. The sad fact is that gasoline in the United States has never been taxed to the level required to compensate for the environmental damage is causes.
It is for this reason that I am happy to see fuel prices on the rise. The time is long overdue for Americans to understand what a tragedy it is to need a car to go grocery shopping, attend school, or to visit friends.
The railway is one obvious solution for knitting together our society again. To restore the courtesy that once existed between commuters before they insulated themselves with their massive Escalades and Explorers. The train provides an environmentally safe, accessible, and potentially inexpensive method for transporting people.
Furthermore, trains contribute to a construction philosophy less centered on automobiles creating great potential to improve or sustain the surroundings when development is required.
That is why Mr. Kerry and President Bush would be wise to look into finally giving Amtrak enough money to expand into a rail network the US could be proud of. This, combined with a healthy curbing of suburban sprawl and a restoration of the independent business, are badly needed in a country becoming more plastic, neon, and outsourced every day.