March 9, 2011

Advocacy group teams with ‘Mad Men’ actors for high-speed rail video



Two lead actors from the hit television show Mad Men throw their support behind high-speed rail in a humorous new online video posted Wednesday on Funnyordie.com.

The actors and U.S. PIRG, a national advocacy organization, developed the video in conjunction with the popular online video site as a way to reach new audiences and build excitement for high-speed rail projects around the country.

“I am delighted to have worked with U.S. PIRG on this project to raise awareness about high-speed rail,” said Vincent Kartheiser, who plays Pete Campbell on the hit show. “Despite all of the actions I take to reduce my carbon footprint, I am a terrible polluter because I fly so many miles. High-speed rail is more efficient, convenient, and environmentally responsible than flying or driving.”

The video is set in the offices of a fictitious 60’s-era advertising agency, as the two make their best pitch for high-speed rail.

As “Harry” (Rich Sommer) tells “Pete” (Vincent Kartheiser) in the video, “America always makes the right investments. Trains are the most efficient, most economical, best investment.”

“But, honestly, I think you can relax on this whole thing. I read that in 40 years, gas is going to be almost a dollar a gallon,” he adds.

The video comes at a time when high-speed rail debate is heating up throughout the country and in Congress. President Obama recently pledged more than $50 billion in federal funding over the next six years and announced a goal in his State of the Union to connect 80 percent of the country with high-speed rail in the next 25 years. House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman John Mica (R-Fla) has been a supporter of high-speed rail, while his governor in Florida and the Governors of Ohio in Wisconsin have rejected billions in federal funds for projects in their states.
 
“It’s a simple pitch — high-speed rail saves oil and gives people a more efficient alternative to the hassles of flying and driving,” said Phineas Baxandall, senior tax and budget analyst for U.S. PIRG. “Even 40 years ago it would have been a no-brainer.”

 METRO TV:To view the video, click here.

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