I, personally pick Oil Shale over any HSR network. The high speed rail is an environmentalists wet dream so hell no to this. Passenger rail 150 years ago won't make it okay now-a-days.
Royal Dutch Shell have developed ways to tap the oil in situ, by drilling boreholes that are thousands of feet deep and feeding into them inch-thick cables that are heated using electrical resistance and that literally cook the surrounding rock. The kerogen liquefies and gradually pools around an extraction well, where the oil-like fluid can easily be pumped to the surface.
Meanwhile, construction companies can take the sand tar out of Utah with toe to heel air injection for American usage.
It is obvious that China is big on HSR, because they have 1.3+ billion and foreign nationals. That sounds like the only reason to be HSR biased. HSR is too expensive, has exaggerated benefits, is wasteful. You have to look at if HSR are five year plans of economic planning solely because China loves HSR to death.
There is something called the smart cars on 1000 cc engines or motorcycles if gas prices are too high.
Trying to speed up HSR construction is stupid. US will probably complete these HSR projects four decades in the future. Focus on all the vehicles and roads instead. I disbelieve if the government tells Americans to ride something, that they will listen unlike European citizens. Americans will still use their vehicles up to the point where it is entirely unaffordable, in which case they buy motorcycles.