Former Vice President Joe Biden is campaigning on a plan for a “Clean Energy Revolution and Environmental Justice” that both critics and supporters claim shares much in common with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal. Biden, when unveiling his climate plan this summer, declared that his proposals will “spark the second great railroad revolution,” one that will "slash commute times and open up investment in areas connected to metropolitan centers for the first time.”

The rollout of Biden’s climate plan, which he claims will lead to a “railroad revolution,” came in the same week that California lawmakers penned an op-ed seeking to defend their state’s beleaguered high-speed rail project. That rail line was originally supposed to connect Los Angeles and San Francisco, but has morphed into the nation’s most high-profile state government-led boondoggle that will never come to fruition as originally designed, yet could still somehow cost taxpayers nearly triple the initial estimated cost.

The Golden State’s high-speed rail project was pitched to voters in 2008 with a $33 billion price tag, which had risen to $64 billion by 2016. The project is now estimated to cost $80 billion, with some cost projections reaching $98 billion. Even still, the project may only end up servicing a sparsely populated section of the Central Valley when it’s all said and done, at great cost to all taxpayers.

Another high-speed rail project underway in Texas, intended to connect Houston and Dallas, is running into cost overruns similar to those experienced previously in California. Backers of that project, dubbed Texas Central, recently confirmed that the cost of the project has ballooned 300% since it began nearly eight years ago.

In an April 8 letter to Texas Senator Robert Nichols (R), Texas Central chairman Drayton McLane noted that the rail project, which was initially projected to cost $10B, “has turned into a $30B project.” In that letter McLane also confirmed that Texas Central will be seeking taxpayer funding, despite years of claims to the contrary.

What has transpired in California is the type of taxpayer-backed disaster that proponents of Texas Central say their plan avoids. Many Texas lawmakers and taxpayers, however, are right to be concerned that the rail project proposed for their state, like the California debacle, will ultimately be funded in part, if not substantially, by taxpayers who won’t use the train.

As with the California high-speed rail project, Texas Central’s cost projections have drastically increased since the project started. And as with the California high-speed rail project, Texas Central will rely on taxpayer dollars, despite a long history of Texas Central backers claiming otherwise.

“We're not using the government as a backstop,” Texas Central’s Robert Eckels told Governing Magazine back in September 2012. “The group says it won't ask for state or federal funding,” the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported about Texas Central investors in 2013. “Eckels says they can move faster because they’ll bypass public funding,” it was reported that same year.

The Texas Central website touted a lack of taxpayer funding back in 2014, stating “Texas Central Railway will be not be built or operated by a government agency, funded by federal government grants or subsidized by taxpayers, but instead be funded by private investors and built/operated by private entities.” The Texas Central website bragged this year that “Texas Central is a tax-payer…not a tax-taker.”

Yet recent developments have proven once and for all that all those past promises from Texas Central were false. Texas Central’s chairman, in that April letter to Senator Nichols, touted “the Japanese government funding and the monies we hope to receive from President Trump’s infrastructure stimulus,” making clear that claims of Texas Central being be entirely funded by private investors are simply false.

Members of the Lone Star State’s congressional delegation have noticed the contradictory statements coming from Texas Central. Congressmen Kevin Brady (TX-08) and Ron Wright (TX-06), in a letter sent last year to the U.S. Surface Transportation Board chairman, wrote that they “oppose federal intervention in a controversial in-state project that developers have proudly and repeatedly described as a ‘private Texas project that relies on no taxpayer dollar.’”

“I also oppose their efforts to secure federal loans backed by taxpayers, while claiming to be a project that does not rely on tax dollars,” Congressman Brady said of Texas Central. "Although I support improvements in transit options for all Texans, the rural counties between Dallas and Houston do not exist for the benefit of Dallas and Harris Counties," Representative Wright added.

It would behoove high-speed rail supporters to stop lying about funding for the Dallas to Houston rail line and shift to making a case for why people who will never use the proposed train should still help pay for it. If Texas Central is such a good idea, then backers should not have to rely on false information or claims when promoting the project.

The Federal Railroad Administration is scheduled to issue a record of decision for Texas Central on September 8. Though that release may be delayed, as it has been three times already. Regardless of what the FRA puts out, the project will still need to have its application approved by the Surface Transportation Board for construction of Texas Central to commence.

Despite what Texas Central backers have claimed for years, it is clear the project intends to rely to some degree on taxpayer funding. But the fact that Texas Central’s top supporters refuse to have an honest conversation about the project, along with the many parallels to California’s high-speed rail misadventure, should raise red flags to taxpayers.