Contact: Scott Jensen (202) 249-6511  

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 26, 2012)The American Chemistry Council (ACC) issued the following statement in response to the Surface Transportation Board's announcement of two initiatives to explore ways to protect captive shippers from unreasonable rail rates:

"The STB's announcement yesterday that the agency will further explore reforms to promote more rail-to-rail competition is a significant step in the right direction.  

"ACC was encouraged last year when the STB considered an array of reforms to make freight rail more competitive. The STB is now taking steps to review terminal switching policies, consistent with a proposal by the National Industrial Transportation League (NITL) and supported by ACC and other shipper groups. The STB also announced an approach to provide a less complicated and less expensive way to challenge freight rates and obtain rate relief.

"The ability for  ACC member companies to ship our products safely and efficiently from production facilities to our customers is essential. The nation depends on chemical producers every day to form the building blocks and processes that are necessary for safe drinking water, life-saving medications and medical devices, a safe and plentiful food supply, energy-saving solar panels and more.

"A more competitive freight rail system will benefit the economy and consumers by promoting improved rail service and more reasonable rates. Since more than three-quarters of rail stations are served by a single railroad, there is a lot at stake for shippers, their customers, and the broader economy. While captive shippers and their customers still face important challenges in gaining greater access to competitive freight rail service, we are encouraged by STB's announcement and look forward to further engaging the STB on these issues and others, including bottleneck rate reforms."

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