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Scott Jensen
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WASHINGTON (April 30, 2019) – The Surface Transportation Board’s (STB) Rate Reform Task Force just released a report outlining a series of reforms aimed at improving how the Board reviews excessive freight rail rates. The report is the result of many discussions with representatives of shippers and carriers, as well as academics, practitioners, and other interested parties to get their views on how the STB can update its policies so that they are better equipped to address today’s realties and challenges.

The following statement regarding the report can be attributed to Jeff Sloan, ACC’s Senior Director of Regulatory & Technical Affairs for Transportation:

“We applaud the Task Force for taking a very thorough approach in developing their report on rate review reforms and providing more evidence that business as usual is unacceptable. The report makes it clear that the STB’s decades old rate review procedures have become too complex and burdensome, leaving many shippers with no realistic avenue for challenging abusive railroad practices.

“The group wisely took into account the dramatic improvement in the financial health of the railroad industry and the growing market power the railroads have over their customers. Instead of just suggesting tweaks to the existing rate case procedures, the Task Force provided thoughtful recommendations for adopting a variety of substantive reforms that could be more useful to both large and small shippers.

“We look forward to submitting comments on the report to the STB and continuing to work with the members of the Board on adopting reforms that will provide all rail customers with better access to affordable and reliable freight rail service.”

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