WASHINGTON, DC - Senator Tom Carper, a former member of the Amtrak national board, said the following concerning the letter Amtrak sent to Governors today: "Given the demands on every budget dollar, securing a $1.2 billion for Amtrak is a going to be a steep hill to climb. Many of us are willing to make that climb, but supporters of passenger rail service - mayors, Governors, passengers - are going to have to raise their voices over the coming months for the President and the Congress to hear. Given heightened tensions abroad and our growing dependence on foreign oil, the need for energy efficient passenger rail service at home is greater than ever. One weapon in our arsenal against foreign oil dependence is our national passenger rail service. It is more vital now than ever." Carper helped collect signatures from 53 Senators on a letter to Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad urging the inclusion of $1.2 billion in funding authorizations for Amtrak in the Chairman's mark. Conrad included the funding.