Scott Jensen, (202) 249-6511   

WASHINGTON (March 19, 2015) - U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) along with Ranking Member Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) introduced today the " Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015 " to improve the Surface Transportation Board (STB) by making it more efficient and accessible.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) President and CEO  Cal Dooley issued the following statement in strong support of the bill:

"We appreciate Chairman Thune's continued leadership and Ranking Member Nelson's support to improve America's freight rail system. ACC welcomes their bill, which will make the STB a more efficient, effective agency and promote a more equitable approach to resolve freight rail issues.

"Chairman Thune and Ranking Member Nelson have carefully crafted a smart and significant proposal that reflects the input of numerous stakeholders and responds to the growing support for modernizing the STB. The bill reflects many of the improvements that are supported by ACC and a large number of other groups representing a wide range of U.S. manufacturing, agricultural and energy interests. This bill will promote a more competitive environment for freight rail service and improve how the STB operates.

"The railroad industry has undergone dramatic changes since the STB was created and Congress last passed major freight rail legislation. We need to update the STB's policies so the Board is better equipped to deal with today's freight rail challenges, including ongoing service problems and growing rate issues. 

"The reasonable reforms in this bill help fulfill that goal by addressing specific issues, such as streamlining the STB's overly burdensome rate review standards, providing reasonable arbitration procedures to resolve rate disputes, and allowing the STB to be more proactive in resolving freight rail issues. Moreover, the legislation will allow both railroads and shippers to thrive, while encouraging the growth of the U.S. economy.

"We look forward to working with Chairman Thune and Ranking Member Nelson to advance their bipartisan legislation and strongly urge the Committee to advance the 'Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015,' which will help foster a strong, affordable and reliable freight rail system."

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