Contact: Scott Jensen, 202-249-6511  

WASHINGTON (January 28, 2015) - American Chemistry Council (ACC) President and CEO  Cal Dooley praised the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation for holding a hearing to examine freight rail issues, including ongoing service problems.

"We thank Chairman Thune and the Committee for listening to the concerns that are being voiced by many of the railroads' largest customers and for their commitment to address these growing freight rail service problems," said Dooley. "For American manufacturers to remain competitive in a global economy, we need  sensible policies to ensure that the nation's rail network remains healthy while promoting greater access to affordable, reliable and efficient rail service."

The hearing takes place as freight rail rates continue to rise sharply, soaring more than 90 percent in the past decade. Unfortunately, higher rates are not translating to better service for many rail customers.

"Poor rail service continues to be pervasive across the freight rail industry and is making it more difficult for  our members to meet the needs of their customers," said Dooley. "Many of the service issues that our members are experiencing stem from a lack of freight rail competition, which offers railroads little incentive to focus on customer needs."

Last year,  Mr. Dooley testified before the Committee to discuss the importance of rail service in driving chemical industry investments and the need to make the Surface Transportation Board a more effective venue to resolve freight rail issues. ACC also joined with 37 other groups representing a wide range of U.S. manufacturing, agricultural and energy interests to  send a letter expressing their support for legislation to modernize the Board.

"We look forward to continuing to work with the Committee and other stakeholders to  foster a strong freight rail system that will meet the needs of the nation and support the growth of the U.S. economy," concluded Dooley.

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