Contact: Scott Jensen (202) 249-6511
WASHINGTON (January 16, 2013) – The American Chemistry Council (ACC), along with other shipper groups, recently submitted comments urging the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to adopt policies that promote an economically strong and competitive freight rail system and that foster a stronger U.S. economy. In particular, ACC expressed its concerns with STB’s proposed changes in a rate case rulemaking under the docket Ex Parte 715. STB opened the docket last year after examining an array of rail competition issues under Ex Parte 705.
ACC expressed concern about how the STB is proposing to handle important technical components of determining whether or not a rail freight rate is reasonable. Thomas Schick, Senior Director of Distribution, Regulatory & Technical Affairs at ACC, said the proposed changes would be a step back in the Agency’s recent efforts to promote policies that promote an economically strong and competitive freight rail system.
“We believe that the STB is proposing a flawed methodology that would not accurately account for railroad operating costs when determining the reasonableness of rates,” said Mr. Schick. “We are concerned that changes proposed in this docket would further constrain shippers in a market that is already devoid of meaningful competition.”
Separately, the STB is examining various other competitive access issues that continue to constrain the shipment of chemicals that are vital to the U.S. economy. But Mr. Schick said more needs to be done given the lack of rail competition and its impact on chemical shippers and the broader economy and called on the STB to take swift action. ACC will encourage Congress to pass legislation this year to promote greater freight rail competition and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of STB proceedings.
“We encourage the STB to broaden the scope of rail competition and quickly resolve these outstanding issues that have plagued shippers for too long,” said Mr. Schick.
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Get Rail Competition on Track | Freight Rail Competition | ACC Policy on Rail Transportation